Review Of The New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Along With The Impact Of The "Australian Tax" On Pricing

Finally, the iPhone 6 is among us after Apple finally released their latest iPhone edition.

Apple announced the launch of their latest handset on the 9th September, their new and improved iPhone 6. Those against the iPhone may be thinking, here they go again Apple fans will be screaming from the heavens! Well maybe they will, as Apple has announced that they will be releasing two new iPhones; the ‘iPhone 6’ and the ‘iPhone 6 Plus.’ The company has gone bigger to satisfy the demand in the market for larger screens, so the iPhone 6 is larger than the iPhone 5S by 0.7 inches, whereas the bigger brother iPhone 6 Plus comes in as the largest handset ever produced by Apple, at 5.5 inches. If you would like to get your hands on one of these smartphones but your existing mobile contract isn't quite up for renewal, then check out my previous post discussing Optus' new offer helping customers cover any "get out early" charges with current providers.

So what is Apple doing entering into Samsung and HTC territory with the bigger screens? Surely they have a hidden weapon they're about to release on the public. Something nobody else has? Well first and foremost the screen is noticeably larger than its predecessor, but not only bigger because the new handset also comes with a ‘Retina HD’ screen that displays 32% more pixels compared with the iPhone 5. However the larger Plus model truly embraces the ‘Phablet’ generation by automatically making the phone's home screen and apps display in landscape mode, or iPad mode.

But how does the Apple iPhone compare to what is already available on the market? Plus, how will the Australian Tax affect your pocket upon the launch date of these devices next Friday 19th September? Lets take a closer look at these two aspects now.   


But first, on a side note to anybody who isn't fully accustomed to the so called "Australian Tax" here is a bite size break down. Australians are being forced to pay up to 50% more than USA citizens in some instances, for IT products and software. Higher prices had previously been associated with the geographical location of Australia. However large companies have been investigated by the parliamentary committee to understand why products are still higher in Australia, when technology is purchased over the internet. The investigation concluded that these larger prices are a result of international price discrimination towards Australian citizens and businesses.


Right, onto the new iPhone 6/Plus and a look at what's on offer with their latest flagship editions.



iPhone 6 Vs the iPhone 5S

In true iPhone fashion, Apple have increased the size, but only when looking at it head on. Twist this elegant
looking device onto its side and you will witness an incredibly thin iPhone 6 measuring in at just 6.9mm thick, with its bigger brother only slightly fatter at 7.1mm. For those who have not yet seen the device, the iPhone 5 is 7.6mm.

However the material is what really separates Apple products from the competition because again both devices are formed entirely from aluminium, stainless steel and glass. Whats even more unique about this handset are the curves of the glass, which bend around the edge of the device, meeting the aluminium.

One difference between the designs of the two iPhones is that the Plus has its power button on the side of the phone, similar to larger Samsung devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5.



iPhone 6's New Camera DisectedBoth devices will come with an 8 megapixel camera, nothing more than the previous model. But Apple have improved other elements of their camera, such as better focus and better photos in lower lighting conditions. The ‘6 Plus’ does come with Optical Image Stabilisation to help reduce blur when moving. The final upgrade is the ‘Focus Pixel’, which helps the camera focus faster and for a clearer picture.


Battery Life

Longer battery life I'm sure is music to many iPhones users' ears across the planet ! Although as the phone was only released two days ago there hasn't been any time for widespread testing yet to confirm how much more battery life you'll be getting in a real life scenario. Apple have stated it has been improved. Standby on the iPhone 6 Plus is claimed to last 16 days, but if this phone is either too expensive or too large for you, then unfortunately, the 6 has been given the same 10 standby days as the iPhone 5S. (Disappointed? Leave your comments below.)


Apple Pay

Finally Apple have embraced the same technology as Google with regards to being able to pay for items withy your mobile. Apple it seems also want to replace your wallet by integrating for the first time in an iPhone, NFC technology. (NFC stands for "Near Field Communication"). However this is nothing new, as Samsung and HTC for example have had this service for the past 2 years.

But don’t get too excited just yet as Apple have said this service will not be available to Australians upon launch. They have however promised that they will be rolling it out in the near future.


iOS 8

iOS 8 App ImageIf you keep up to date with Apple regularly, then you will know that iOS 8 was announced earlier this year and will be officially released for older devices to download on the 17th September. But your new 6 and 6 Plus will come with it as standard. To cut a long story short, theres nothing too different here, a few minor updates to Siri and iMessage but now with the ability to interact with your phone via your Mac (again, something the competition have been doing for years).


New Technology

So this time round, when you buy your new handset you will be receiving what is being claimed as a device that's 84 times faster than the original iPhone, meaning there is a big improvement in graphical performance.

Metal is another new feature which will enable the device to process graphics to a standard much closer to console quality. The M8 Motion chip is also a new addition, which includes a barometer allowing air pressure to be measured. So now your phone will know not only when your walking, but also when your going up-hill or down a flight of stairs. This is mainly for your exercising purposes.



Below are the Australian prices anticipated for each device, but we have also compared the price with what Apple are launching the same product for in the U.S.A. Below you will see a table representing the launch prices in the USA and in Australia, the rate of conversion at today’s rate; ($1 USD = $1.09 AUD) and most importantly the Australian tax that Apple are adding on.

Handset Model      

US Price

Conversion to AUD

AU Price

Australian Tax

iPhone 6 (16GB)





iPhone 6 (64GB)





iPhone 6 (128GB)





iPhone 6 Plus (16GB)





iPhone 6 Plus (64GB)





iPhone 6 Plus (128GB)






Yes we’re thinking the same thing here, why should we have to get hit more just because we live in Australia? And no small amount either, with some cases above showing more than a $100 difference per handset. (To ease the frustration slightly, some states demand sales tax on purchases so residents in certain states could pay as much as Australians, but that is governed by the state, not Apple.)

iPhone 6 Vs the HTC 2012 Model

So what’s an Aussie to do? Buying from the states wont help because the phone will be locked to a network, which will require you to pay for postage plus unlocking charges. In this instance there isn’t too much that can be done if you want an iPhone in your hands by next Friday. But if you're still not fully decided on the mobile operating system you prefer, why not consider the Samsung S5 or HTC One M8? These devices are more powerful, have a better cameras of up to 14 megapixels, larger touch screens, expandable memory and quad-core processors. Not to mention they are about half the price! (To find out more information about how these devices stack up click here).


I'd like to leave you with a positive thought; this week federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said: “Australian consumers pay much higher prices compared to US customers when purchasing IT hardware, software, music, games, sporting equipment and fashion. And some companies selling these products pay little tax in Australia, despite their products selling for much higher prices.” 

As a result of Mr. Hockey's persistence to create a fairer international market place for Australians, the investigation referred to in the third paragraph of this blog post was actioned. Plus if the large tech companies are found to be avoiding their tax payments in Australian territories, we may very well see prices come down.

TOPICS:   Mobile Phones

1 comment

  • odysseus
    "As a result of Mr. Hockey’s persistence to create a fairer international market place for Australians, the investigation referred to in the third paragraph of this blog post was actioned." Actually, it's nothing to do with his persistence. If you check the date of the linked report on the investigation, it was July 29, 2013. This was when the Gillard and Rudd governments were in. The investigation came out of their efforts, nothing to do with Hockey. The committee itself who drove the investigation consisted of 4 ALP members, 2 Liberal, 1 National and 1 independent. Again, Hockey was not one of them and not involved, let alone persistently.

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