iPhone not coming to Australia soon

I was thinking more about the discussion in relation to the Clapperton-Corones piece on the legality of the iPhone. My point had been that the only issue that seemed to be salient was Third Line forcing. Clapperton and Corones thought there would be real issues here but I must admit that I couldn’t see it failing a public benefits test in an authorisation before the ACCC; so it would be OK. Put simply, my prediction is that if the iPhone can’t operate like it does around the world in terms of account activation, Apple would not bother with Australia. The ACCC, realising this, would let it go through.

That said, I take Clapperton and Corones’ point that authorisation would be required. That process is public and a quick look at the ACCC website doesn’t appear to show any application by Apple. This leads me to conclude that the iPhone will not be gracing our shores any time soon.

4 thoughts on “iPhone not coming to Australia soon”

  1. “…if the iPhone can’t operate like it does around the world in terms of account activation, Apple would not bother with Australia.”

    On the other hand:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/02/27/apple_exec_iphone_not_married_to_single_carrier_model.html

    This makes the tie sound more like a temporary entry strategy, needed to introduce some of the new features like visual voicemail.

    Rather than establish the global superiority of Australia’s 3LF provision, doesn’t the Clapperton/Corones article illustrate exactly why this anomoly should be repealed? Leaving authoriation to one side, the effect of that provision is that a famously innovative, well-resourced *new entrant* to a fairly concentrated market (mobile phones) would be prevented from supplying its product on conditions that (as the authors note) millions of consumers in the US and elsewhere are happy to accept. None of that consumer happiness has shown any sign of harming competition in the phone or carriage markets – quite the opposite, as you noted yesterday it served to make Apple’s product less attractive than untied smartphones and spurred its competitors to innovate.

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