This Friday, June 30, sees the release of Apple’s iPhone 4 in an additional 17 countries. And the big question being asked is will the recent hoopla about the device’s antenna problems affect the launch, or will Apple’s recent announcement of free bumpers for all new and existing iPhone 4 customers mean it’s the standard frenzy that has gone hand-in-hand with the launch of Apple products in recent times?

The iPhone 4 is already available in France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US and on Friday that list will be expanded to include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

In Australia at least, all indications are that the ‘death grip’ controversy won’t be a huge factor. Major telcos Optus and Telstra have both announced they will be opening their doors at midnight on Thursday to allow customers to be the first to purchase the device and save them the discomfort of camping out all night in winter temperatures.

Both those companies have asked people looking to purchase an iPhone 4 to register their interest on their websites over the past few weeks. So you’d think they’d have a fair idea as to the level of consumer interest and wouldn’t be going to the trouble and expense of a midnight launch unless the numbers were there to warrant it.

Telstra told the Sydney Morning Herald that tens of thousands of customers had registered their interest in buying the iPhone 4, “more than any other iPhone launch to date”. However, with both companies only today announcing plans and pricing for the Apple device it remains to be seen whether interest will translate into sales.

We’d like to hear from any readers in countries that are seeing the release this Friday. Has the recent antenna problem had any effect on your intentions to snap up the device or not? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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