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Innovation

99p for a mobile phone, but not in Aus

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.
Written by Darren Greenwood, Contributor on

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 "="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow">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.

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