Telstra to join Optus and Vodafone on the iPhone bandwagon

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Telstra to join Optus and Vodafone on the iPhone bandwagon

It appears as though Telstra will belatedly jump on the iPhone bandwagon and will offer Apple’s 3G mobile device some two weeks after rivals Optus and Vodafone make it available to the public.

According to reports in The Australian, Telstra will launch Apple's new 3G iPhone in mid July, approximately two weeks after Optus and Vodafone launch the popular handheld device on July 11.

Telstra did not respond to iTnews’ requests for confirmation of its iPhone plans, but according to The Australian, sources close to the telco said it would target a sale date of July 22.

Although Telstra has not yet made public its agreement with Apple the telco had previously hinted that sale of the iPhone would be inevitable.

"Telstra is the market leader in mobiles and we aim to stay that way, so while [we're] not commenting on iPhone or our plans specifically, watch this space,” Telstra spokesperson Peter Taylor previously told iTnews.

With Telstra joining Optus and Vodafone as stockists of the 3G iPhone, Australia will now become one of the most competitive iPhone markets in the world.

It’s highly likely that Apple’s new Sydney store will also stock the 3G iPhone after the company’s senior vice president of retail hinted at the possibility of it appearing in the shop’s windows.

“You might find a phone there in a little bit, but we’re not here to talk about that today,” said Apple’s senior vice president of retail, Ron Johnson, at the store’s opening this week.

Vodafone and Optus announced their intention to sell the 3G iPhone earlier this month. However, neither Optus, Vodafone nor Telstra, have revealed how they will structure the accompanying data plans for the device.

The 3G iPhone will include built-in GPS for real-time mapping and location-based services. It will also feature new iPhone's 2.0 software that will provide support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, allowing users to send and receive Microsoft Exchange email.
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