99p for a mobile phone, but not in Aus

Summary:A few months back I said that Aussies and Kiwis are not badly off when it comes to technology. Now, however, I must eat my words after spending some time in Britain.

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.

Topics: Mobility, New Zealand, Telcos


Darren Greenwood has been in journalism, not all of it IT, since the days of typewriters and long before the web spun its way around the world.Coming from Yorkshire, he can be blunt, and though having resided in New Zealand, as well as Australia, for quite some time, he insists he is not one of the 'sheeple!'

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