28 May 2008
Posted in News - Other
When will New Zealand see the iPhone officially go on sale? It's a question that many have attempted to speculate on, but the details to produce any knowledgeable answer are scarce. Most of the comments circulating in the community are based on rumour, hints, knowledge of the technologies used in the iPhone, as well as a looking at Apple and the release of the iPhone in other countries..or the speculation for those countries.
So what do we know?
Surprisingly little in fact. Or rather, for those of us that know Apple, unsurprisingly little. Apple is notorious for seldom announcing products or new releases until such time that they are available. So here are the facts in relation to trying to determine when an official release of the iPhone might occur in New Zealand...
- Apple introduced the world to the iPhone on 10 January 2007. The press release at the time stated...
iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008
New Zealand and Australia were not mentioned specifically, nor the Australasian region. Are we simply lumped in with Asia in the Press Release?
- On 24 March 2008, speculation appeared in the Dominion Post, notable only for the comment from Telecom New Zealand that it was a "good inference" that their new network (launching in November 2008) may be the first to support the iPhone. However the relevance of this comment cannot be determined. It may simply be bravado and an attempt at 'one-up-manship' or it could signal that multiple carriers will sell the phone in New Zealand.
- Vodafone provide the most concrete comment when they announce internationally that they will sell the iPhone in 10 markets, including New Zealand. The Press Release is exceptionally brief and lacking any detail....
Vodafone to offer apple iPhone in ten markets
Media release: 06 May 2008
Vodafone today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in ten of its markets around the globe. Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.
No information on when we might see the iPhone, if Vodafone has signed exclusive deals for some countries (Press releases from other carriers related to other countries leads most to believe this is not the case), the sorts of plans or costs involved. What is as telling is that in all these cases, is that Apple has not released a Press Release to support the announcements.
What don't we know?
Many might suggest that the above facts are exceptionally brief. The discussions, speculations and (for want of a better term) the breadcrumbs of information that people are putting together and are leading them down paths to certain conclusions may in fact may be completely wrong.
Many people reading this will say that they have heard, read or believe other information that provides more specifics. But the reality is that little specifics are available.
We don't know...
- If the Vodafone release is backed by Apple (companies have suggested relationships with Apple before that have proven false, but in this case it seems very unlikely)
- When Vodafone will sell the iPhone other than "later this year"
- What type of form the iPhone will be in (ie, will it be 3G etc)
- How much it will cost
- Whether it will be tied to a plan
- Whether Vodafone's system will be able to support the iPhone's visual voicemail
- Whether Vodafone will have an exclusive right to sell the iPhone in New Zealand
What do we think we know?
Quite a lot ;-)
But those of us that love to speculate always believe we know quite a lot.
Probably a great source for discussion for speculation on the iPhone in New Zealand is on the companion site to NZiPhone.com. There is an ongoing thread on NZMac.com specifically about this issue that you can read here.
Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference (http://developer.apple.com/wwdc/) starts on June 9, 2008, with Steve Jobs and staff giving a Keynote on the 9th (10th our time). The WWDC is going to be very focused (we believe) on the iPhone Developer Program and the iPhone Software Developer's Kit.
Shortages of iPhone's in the US and images of large shipments of boxes on their way to the US (yes, people are that obsessed!) suggest an announcement of either a new 3G iPhone or some sort of tablet Mac.
Possibly one of the best pointers for New Zealand is Australia, with MacTalk Forums hosting some excellent details. Although after saying this, the association between Apple events in the two countries has not historically been linked (OZ got their iTunes store a substantial period earlier than New Zealand).
Combine this with the Vodafone announcement and the fact that most commentators suggest the exclusive deal that Apple arranged with AT&T in the States (but did not repeat in other countries) means we'll see a 3G iPhone announced on that date, that we might get an indication at that time as to when we'll see the iPhone in New Zealand, and that the iPhone may not exclusive in that it will possibly be able to function on the new Telecom network also. As to whether Telecom NZ will be selling the iPhone also in New Zealand, that's one that has little information or rumour to even speculate on.
What can be certain is that the iPhone is eagerly awaited...and that NZiPhone.com will keep you up-to-date will all the news on the official availability of the iPhone to our shores.
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