Aussie Telcos still waiting on Apple for iPad details

Wifi iPad release date just weeks off but no deals struck

Despite the impending local release of the WiFi iPad this month, and the 3G equipped version in April, Australia’s two biggest telcos are seemingly no closer to striking a deal with Apple to carry the new device.

Responding to Computerworld Australia enquiries, both Telstra and Optus said that they were yet to strike a deal with Apple on the iPad.

“We have no further information on the Apple iPad other than to say we welcome it and look forward to its availability in the Australian market,” a spokesperson from Optus told Computerworld.

A spokesperson from Telstra said there was “nothing new to add” on its statement in January that it welcomed the opportunity to talk with Apple about bringing iPad to its Next G network.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and Virgin Mobile did not respond with comment prior to deadline.

An Apple spokesperson would not comment on whether it would be selling the iPad through telcos.

In January IDC telecommunications analyst, Mark Novosel, said the initial mixed response from telcos at the announcement of the iPad could be put down to first generation phobia.

“The iPad is a first generation device, and as such leaves the door open to many improvements,” he said at the time. “Rather than being a scaled-down Mac, the iPad is a large iPod Touch with extra features added in. Unless you are prepared to carry a bag or hold the iPad in your hand, it will not travel with most people in the same way that an iPod or iPhone does.”

“The US pricing reflects a $US130 premium for 3G which I believe should have been a standard feature across the device line-up. Its hard to see there being a strong demand for the 3G version with current pricing, not to mention that when devices arrive in Australia, prices always get inflated from the US equivalent exchange rate,” he added.

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