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World Round Up: Contract Free Kiwi – Samsung Competition

August 26, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Have your cake and eat it
I thought that two years was a long time to sign a phone contract for, but in New Zealand apparently, three year contracts are nothing unusual. Three years! Phones will be telepathic by then and have their own jet packs. So enter hero of the hour Scott Bartlett, CEO of state owned telecoms company Orcon, and his contract-free handsets.

Both the HTC Desire and Legend are available at NZ$900 and NZ$800 ($640 and $570) respectively and with or without a monthly fee. Without the fee you’ll have to cough up NZ69c (49c) a minute. Data will set you back about NZ$30 ($21) a gig a month, which compared to some countries is expensive but a fair price in Wellington.

What this offer means is that more New Zealanders will be able to get the newest handsets sooner or, to quote Scott “…people want the greatest and latest phones. We are making this happen by offering two of the most talked-about Android handsets.” Nice one Scott.

A neat competition or market research on the cheap?
Now, this looks cool. Samsung are offering twenty “lucky” UK residents the chance to become what they are calling ‘Samsung Mobilers’ and “win” a brand new handset and “play” with the very latest software.

So why all the quotation marks? I hear you ask. Well, I got quite excited at the prospect of a free Samsung handset (who wouldn’t?) and then I saw the 18 to 25 year age restriction. Now, if you’re thinking that I’m just bitter because I’m too old… then you’d be right. But, all the same, doesn’t the narrow age band suggest market research, more than a competition? Factor in phrases such as “you’ll need to complete seven tasks with your new smartphone” and its starting to sound like they are recruiting for testers, just without the pay packet. There is the chance of a trip to Korea, so maybe I am just being bitter about being past it. Judge for yourself here.