Yay! The iphone, Apples flagship mobile phone is finally making its way onto South African shores courtesy of Vodacom. But South Africans arent the only lucky ones, 10 other countries (Australia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, and Turkey) are also gearing up for the iphone on the vodacom network. Hopefully this will be a global release coinciding with the release of version 2.0 of the iphone. Apple announced earlier this year that it expects to ship the next generation of their sensational iphone with the firmware version 2.0 sometime by the end of June 2008.
According to Vodafone’s May 6th Announcement, which I personally feel deserves much more fanfare than the two lines their PR team spat out, Vodafone has signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iphone onto their network in 10 countries sometime “later this year”. Im really looking forward to this, seeing that we finally have an official channel to supply the handset locally. The iphone is already widely available here in South Africa, and works on all networks – but this is achieved only by jailbreaking the device – so that it may be able to run on our “unsupported” networks.
Earlier this year, apple released the SDK for the iphone, allowing developers to create third party applications for the iphone in readiness of the ver. 2.0 firmware. Its no guess that this new version will come with at least 3G support, real Exchange and ActiveSync protocols, and a host of features targeted towards the enterprise. Apple will also be allowing developers to sell their applications that they developed for the iphone on the itunes store.
All of this brings a few questions to mind:
- How vodacom will market this product? Will they market it as it is – a wonderful handset, phone, music player, etc. or a business tool for the corporate professional?
- Will the itunes store open its doors to South Africans as well?
- Will this release co-incide with the global version 2.0 firmware release?
One thing i am certain of: I can sense “George” from the vodacom adverts thinking of something interesting to say about his new eye-phone.