Australia’s first 3G network seem to have been left in the cold. At this stage, the only networks to officially offer Apple’s iPhone are Optus and Vodafone. 3 aren’t going to take this affront lying down; as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, they’re organising a registry of interested customers in an attempt to entice Apple into becoming their partner. So far, people seem enthusiastic. I, as a 3 customer, may just be signing up.
The Apple has landed.
At five o’clock on George Street today, Apple threw open the doors to its newest flagship store. I had the privilege of cabbing past, a few hours before the grand opening, and saw the Mac faithful in their droves — including several devotees that had travelled internationally for the occasion. It’s interesting to note the age spread of the top ten (21 to 72 years), and amazing that only three early arrivers were from Sydney — the majority had come from out of town.
My favourite piece of coverage comes from the Sydney Morning Herald, in an article — tongue-in-cheek, surely — that suggests Apple may have made a PR blunder by using “windows” in the building’s construction:
The Apple fans on the pavement are separated from the store proper by a window of glass slabs, 15 metres high. That makes them the largest plates of laminated glass in the world, Apple’s head of retail, Ron Johnson, says.
They form “one giant window” to Apple’s products, Johnson told a throng of journalists invited to inspect the the new store — seemingly unaware of the Microsoft brand name used in his analogy.
That’s not an analogy; he meant it literally is one giant window. Still, I’m sure the throng of journalists would have been seemingly unaware.
A free memorial t-shirt was not enough to entice me to the opening, and I suspect the rest of the store won’t do much for me either. Nonetheless: I, for one, welcome our Apple overlords, and will inevitably drop $20 on an iPod sock. Or something.
Yes: I’m excited by the impending, official launch of the iPhone, but I doubt I’ll buy one as I don’t have a good track record looking after my mobiles. Still, you never know — I guess it would be tax deductible. I think the hype surrounding them has set people’s expectations too high — when you take a step back, it’s an amazing piece of kit.
Think about it: Apple had never made a mobile phone before, while Nokia and Motorola et al have been doing it for years. Decades. And Apple kicked their sorry asses, not so much by loading it with features but by designing something that’s fun to use.
I’m also excited by OS 10.6, even though it’s a long way off. I loves me some operating system. And these under-the-hood changes mean better, faster apps for us ‘puter aficionados.