Aussie telcos seek iPad talks with Apple


news Several of Australia’s largest mobile telcos have flagged plans to open talks with Apple about how its tablet product announced this morning will be sold in Australia.

“Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is very interested in the Apple iPad unveiled in the US today,” a spokesperson for the telco — formed from the merger of Vodafone and Hutchison, which operates the ‘Three’ brand — said this afternoon.

“VHA will soon commence discussions with Apple regarding the availability of the Apple iPad in Australia. Vodafone and 3 offer some of Australia’s highest value prepaid and contract mobile broadband plans and the exciting and innovative Apple iPad would be a welcome addition to our product range.”

An Optus spokesperson had not yet responded to a request for comment, but a Telstra spokesperson echoed VHA’s sentiments about meeting with Apple.

“Now that the iPad has been publicly announced by Apple, Telstra welcomes the opportunity to talk with Apple about bringing iPad to our Next G network,” a spokesperson for the telco said.

Apple Australia issued a statement this morning noting pricing outside the US and worldwide availability of the iPad would be announced at a later date. The Wi-Fi version of the iPad “will be available in late March worldwide”, while the 3G model will be available in the US “and selected countries” in April.

Not much information was available about the details of Apple’s previous iPhone launch in Australia in mid-2008 until shortly before the actual retail sale date.