Apple iPhone 5 global rollout begins in Australia

Apple iPhone 5
The wait for the iPhone 5 is over

Thanks to the wonders of the international date line, Apple fans along the east coast of Australia have become the first in the world to be able to purchase the new iPhone 5.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joined the queue himself at the Chermside store in Brisbane to be one of the first in the world to get his hands on the new device. He joined thousands of plucky Australians lined up outside Apple, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone stores around the country to get their hands on the new phone.

With pre-orders of the new iPhone selling out within days of being made available, there is now a two to three week wait time for the handset for customers who failed to get their order in early.

High demand for 4G

Apple learnt its lesson after running into trouble for advertising the third generation iPad as 4G in Australia despite not working on local LTE networks. The iPhone 5's support for the 1800MHz LTE spectrum means that both Telstra and Optus customers will be able to access the fast LTE speeds using the new phone.

Meanwhile, Vodafone customers who pre-ordered the device will be stuck at home this weekend, with the telco announcing its plans to continue shipping its iPhone 5 supply over Saturday and Sunday.

Competitive pricing across the board

Despite 4G the major selling point of the new iPhone, both Optus and Vodafone have plans for the new 16GB iPhone starting at AUD$48 a month, including handset repayments, despite the fact Vodafone's 4G network won't go live before next year.

Optus reseller Virgin Mobile has pipped its supplier in both value and cost, offering a 16GB iPhone 5 for AUD$47 a month, including 250MB of data.

Telstra, meanwhile, has opted for a minimum monthly offering of AUD$67 a month for a 16GB handset, which includes a generous 1GB of data each month compared to the 200MB on offer from the cheapest Optus and Vodafone plans.

Compared to the UK and the US, the Australian pricing is extremely competitive, although difficult to compare directly thanks to the lack of an up front handset repayment option.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.