A few months back I said that Aussies and Kiwis are not badly off when it comes to technology. Now, however, I must admit that I was wrong after spending some time in Britain.
When I was in Vancouver some months back I bought a mobile phone and noted that the costs were much higher in Canada than in Australia and New Zealand.
Well, based on my experiences in Britain this week, I must eat my words.
I had difficulty unlocking New Zealand and Canadian-bought phones and concluded I would be as well off buying new ones.
I found the best deals at Carphone Warehouse, where unlocked phones can be had for a shockingly low 99p!
Yes, a new mobile phone for less than a quid! That is AU$1.50 or so in your money, or just over NZ$2! What an absolute bargain!
To get the phones at this price you must buy £10 of credit, so I can only guess the telco must give a subsidy to the handset manufacturer, unless the telcos use handsets as a loss leader to pull you in.
I thought I'd do a little comparing to see how well off we really are down under.
I couldn't find anyone retailing that 99p Alcatel OT 209, but the Nokia 1616 I bought for a fiver is NZ$99 from Vodafone NZ (yes, over nine times more!) and AU$29 from Harvey Norman (nearly four times the UK price).
Fancy splashing out on a BlackBerry? Well, the Curve 3G is £199 at Carphone Warehouse, NZ$799 with Vodafone NZ or AU$449 with Melbourne Mobiles.
Compared to the Brits, Australians are certainly ripped off, but the Kiwis more so!
I wonder which of my friends would like a mobile phone for Christmas.