Code: iPhone not so multimedia friendly Asher Moses July 15, 2008 - 3:47PM The Age Most of the TV, movie and other multimedia content offered by Optus, Vodafone and Telstra over their 3G networks is not available on the iPhone. The iPhone 3G, which debuted around the world on Friday, is being billed as the ultimate multimedia handset and one of the main benefits of upgrading to a 3G service is the ability to access a range of content provided by the carriers. However, most of this is not available on the iPhone due to incompatibilities with the device, the carriers said. The issue is compounded by the fact that the cost of accessing the web on Australian iPhone plans is far higher than in countries such as the US, where the iPhone comes with unlimited web browsing. As a result, Australians accessing online video and music content from their iPhone over the open internet are likely to be hit with high excess usage bills. Mark McDonnel, telecom analyst at BBY, said Apple was purposely limiting the device's ability to access the carriers' content in order to force people to buy the content from its own iTunes and Apps stores. "Of course, Apple has its own platform and it's a question of whether people want to adapt to fit their content onto the Apple platform, so I don't see the technical barriers as insuperable but they do impose costs and delays," he said. Those on the Telstra network can access Yellow Search, Sensis Search and WhereIs Mobile from a BigPond Mobile Icon on the iPhone, but Foxtel Mobile and BigPond TV are not supported. "The device does not support flash so video services our customers have come to expect on Next G such as Foxtel Mobile or BigPond TV will not work on the iPhone," Telstra spokesman Peter Taylor said. "Our entire focus has been on getting the iPhone ready for sale on Friday and like all carriers we'll be looking at more content options going forward." On Optus, iPhone users can access Fox Sports and Sky News clips as well as a variety of internet sites such as eBay, Facebook and MySpace, but none of the carrier's ringtones, wallpapers, music downloads or mobile TV channels, which include MTV, Ministry of Sound, Nickelodeon, ABC, CNN and SBS. Optus spokeswoman Melissa Clare said some of this content "will be launched soon", while others were not supported by the device or were not yet formatted for the iPhone. Vodafone users are the worst hit by the iPhone compatibility issues as none of the Vodafone Live portal - which includes mobile TV, music downloads, ringtones, wallpapers, games and news - can be accessed from the iPhone. "The iPhone 3G's [web] browser, Safari, is an HTML browser - Vodafone Live operates on a PML browser, which isn't compatible with the HTML browser," Vodafone spokesman Greg Spears said. "We're investigating what the workarounds may be for bringing live content to the iPhone."