What the iPhone needs to succeed in Australia

It's hard not to get caught up in the iPhone hype, especially if you're in a hotel only a few blocks from the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco. The line was already a block and a half long at midday, and it's only going to get worse from here.

The initial reviews are already in, most notably from David Pogue of the New York Times (link), and there's a couple of interesting tidbits I've picked up that may stand in the way of widespread adoption when this device finally makes it too Australia.

  • Lack of 3G support - The iPhone only supports the EDGE, which is an enhanced version GPRS, for data transmission over the phone network. This is probably the biggest criticism of the device in general, even for US consumers. Relying on WiFi connectivity to ensure decent data transmission isn't going to cut it in Australia. We simply don't have widespread deployment of WiFi hotspots.
  • No MMS - The iPhone does not support MMS, or picture messaging. They really dropped the ball on this one. MMS is widely used in Australia, and if ...every phone on the market suppports it and the iPhone doesn't... well I'm not going to spend over US$500!
  • Cheap data plans - AT&T has really stepped up to the plate and is offering plans with unlimited data transmission, whether any Australia Telco will do the same remains to be seen. Steve Jobs will really have to work his magic for this one to happen.

Regardless of the above, I'm looking forward to seeing what this device can do. My Google Reader should be quaking in anticipation of the blog storm that this thing is going to whip up come 6 PM!

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