Home Your Tech Mobility Nice: Apple Australia slices the price of 32GB iPhone 4!

Nice: Apple Australia slices the price of 32GB iPhone 4!

Updated: Well, not only can Apple surprise with very cool reality field distorting iPhone 4 and iPad, but it can also surprise on the pricing side too, slashing $50 off the price of its top end smartphone to AUD $999!

Updated: Will you look at that - Apple has thrown Australians expecting a $1000+ price for the 32GB iPhone 4 by offering it outright and unlocked for AUD $999 - after first only revealing the price of the 16GB model at $859. 

It's not officially up on Apple's site as yet - the online store still lists pricing as of publication for the iPhone 4 as 'coming soon', although the iPhone 3GS at 8GB does have its price of AUD $719 clearly listed.

But the news of the $999 32GB iPhone 4 pricing is now all over the press, from reputable sources, so the expectation is that this price is correct and it's definitely a price drop. Thank you Apple Australia and Australia's stronger dollar! Imagine if the iPhone 4 had been locally launched a few weeks ago when our dollar had plunged against the US greenback, the 16GB model could have been selling for $999 instead, and the 32GB that much more expensive.

Even now, there were expectations that the iPhone 4 price could be as high as $1029 or even $1049, the price of the previous 32GB iPhone 3GS, so the slightly cheaper price means you have a bit more cash in your pocket to buy apps, or something else. Like phone credit.

It's also a reflection of the fact that the best smartphones are now cheaper by a third than just a few years ago, when even fashion phones cost even more at first launch.

Remember the Motorola Razr? When it first launched, its list price was AUD $1300. Sure, it didn't take too long to fall and over time, end up as a $99 or just a "giveaway" phone, it didn't happen overnight either.

When it was truly hot, it was hot, and it cost, but as it became commoditised, its price dropped like a stone, although Motorola did draw it out by offering the phone in Black, Product (RED), and Dolce and Gabbana flavours, no doubt amongst others, including the first thick, then thinner, 3G versions. All with that awful interface! No wonder Motorola has gone to Android.

This hasn't happened with the iPhone, even with the AntennaGate problem and frenzied Android competition from an onslaught of vendors, besides RIM and Blackberry, Microsoft and Windows Phone 7, Samsung's Bada, HP's Web OS, Nokia's Symbian and Meego from Nokia and Intel.

Despite all that effort, Apple boldly leads the market. Everyone else is rushing to copy and improve where they can, with Android and WebOS having the closest experiences to the iPhone, but Apple still leads the interface pack - and is obviously working on iOS 5 as we speak to stay ahead of the ever improving competition.

Thus, Apple's reality distortion field remains intact, and it has sold millions of iPhone 4s, with now tens of millions more between now and the end of the year, which is the all important holiday/Christmas/end-of-year buying and gift giving bonanza of a retail sales period, across 17 more countries than now and more to come as soon as Apple and its Chinese manufacturing partners can increase capacity and production, while inevitably now working on the iPhone 5, which is just over 12 months away from when we can likely expect it to go on sale here.

But that's next year's model, the one on sale from this Friday is the latest and greatest. There's likely to be reports of local issues that suddenly arise sometime on Friday when iPhone 4 buyers start playing and experimenting with their new toys, even if it's just for people to see if they can replicate the attenuation issue or not, just like Apple shows in all the videos. At least you now get a free bumper.

We know from earlier announcements by Optus and Telstra saying that they will be offering the iPhone 4 from midnight, Friday morning, the 30th of July, in selected stores across Australia, and along with Vodafone and 3 are all hosting big events in Sydney this week to maximise their respective public profiles.

Telstra will have a MasterChef winner Adam Liaw, runner-up Callum Hann and judge Matt Preston, along with four other popular MasterChef contestants on-hand to 'wow' the crowd lining up to purchase the new iPhone on the stroke of midnight with a big party and live cooking at Telstra's flagship Sydney store opposite the Apple store on George St.

Vodafone and 3 are promising a big party at "premier entertainment venue" Ivy above George St for iPhone 4 buyers so they can "ditch the queues and avoid the cold and rain".

Optus has hosted the Love Lounge events this week at the Customs House Forecourt in Sydney's CBD, with different events every night since Monday, and closing with an appearance by US pop star Kelly Rowland - and presumably there'll be some entertainment at its flagship store for waiting iPhone 4 customers as it has done in the past. They've also come out offering a free bumper for every Optus iPhone 4 customer - will Telstra, Vodafone and 3 now be forced to match it?

We also know that the Optus and Vodafone prices for iPhone 4 plans, and the amount of included data, are far superior to those of Telstra - but we also know that Telstra has the best voice and data network, leading to the old caveat emptor of 'you get what you pay for', whichever carrier you are using. 

With the iPhone 4 being available to buy outright and unlocked in Australia, plenty of people will likely choose to just get it outright and use it with whichever carrier(s) they want, but the allure of a more affordable and wallet-friendly monthly plan has its benefits too and will presumably still be the way most bring the iPhone 4 (or any smartphone) into their lives.

Full pricing from has emerged, and while 3 Mobile offer isn't as good as Vodafone's, seeing as they're both part of the same company Vodafone clearly wants more people on its own original network, and Vodafone has tried to as much floor wiping with Optus and Telstra as they wanted to now, too.

After all, it's all about the number of users on your network, and the amount of 'average revenue per user' or ARPU that each user generates.

Just as long as it's not done by totally oversubscribing the network and screwing things up for everyone, as is the case with AT&T in the US, and potentially still an issue for Optus, Vodafone today and Telstra if too many people take it up on its $180 unlimited Telstra Business offer.

So, if you want an iPhone 4 and are prepared to stand in queue for one, you're probably already there, and if so, the 24 hours to go mark is nearly here. Enjoy!



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.