On Friday the 18th I was up dark and early (4:30am) to catch an early train into the city so that I could line up outside the Apple Store to purchase a fantastic new iPhone 3G. This little device has upped the ante on phones, having sold over 1 million in the first weekend of sales and continuing strong. People are having difficulties picking up a unit as most places have no stock. When I arrived at the Apple Store, I found 4 other keen purchasers ahead of me, the first arriving at 5:30am. As the minutes and hours continued to tick by, more and more people turned up, with a slightly disappointed look on their face as they faced the reality of both their position in the line and the time they’d have to wait (some in excess of 4 hours).

For those that haven’t looked into it let me enlighten you. The iPhone has been offered on 3 Australian carriers: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
Of these three, the best value contracts have been Optus’ with a wide range of pricing plans, generous amounts of data inclusion (between 100MB and 1GB) and the addition of Wi-Fi access.
Telstra’s plans were announced with voice only, but were eventually supplemented with very small amounts of data (2.5MB or 5MB). Users will then have to purchase a pricey ‘Data Pack‘ to enable them to user the phones internet-based functions (email, web-browsing and essentially GPS). If they then exceed their ‘Data Pack‘ then they’re charged per MB, either $1 or 25 cents, depending on which pack they chose, but users also are able to access Telstra’s Wi-Fi hotspots; I think the largest Wi-Fi network within Australia’s Metropolitan area.
Vodafone were the last to announce their plans with only 2 days to launch. Their plans are similar to Optus’ although there is a much smaller choice at a higher price for what you get and Vodafone do not have an accessible Wi-Fi network either.
It’s been revealed that Virgin will also offer the iPhone. There’s rumors of some very very good value plans, so if you haven’t an iPhone yet, and are looking to purchase one, it’s recommended that you wait until virgin shows their hand.

So after almost two weeks worth of iPhone I’ve found it a very capable device. The data usage has been surprisingly low considering the amount of data I thought I’d been pulling, mainly just emails and webpages, including google maps. The standard applications on the phone are a pretty strong suite, but it’s the additional apps available at the app store that have bolstered this little device for me. The most noteworthy and useful applications I’ve got on my iPhone are:

  • WordPress
  • An application that lets me write posts and upload them right here, pretty neat and useful if I’m on the road and have some moments to kill, especially since I’m also able to upload photos taken with the iPhone’s camera.

  • NetNewsWire
  • An RSS reader which is linked in with Newsgator.com. I’m able to synchronise what I’ve read and what I haven’t

  • Mocha VNC Lite
  • A program allowing me to link into my home PC and use it over the net

All I need now are a few accessories and a couple of extra functions and I’ll be a happy user…