It's been just over two years since Windows Phone 7 launched. The first country to get it was New Zealand (just a step ahead of Australia and the rest of the world) thanks to Vodafone NZ making the HTC Trophy available on launch day. This time around a lot has changed and this time Windows Phone 8 has already arrived in other regions such as the United Kingdom and United States.
Online polls suggest the Nokia Lumia 920 is the most anticipated Windows Phone 8 product. Presales of the Lumia 920 were quickly exhausted when Telstra offered it online there ahead of it's November 27 launch. Word is there has been similar levels of interest in other markets with the Lumia 920 apparently also sold out in Germany.
Windows Phone 8 is being released in a range of models internationally - and downunder it's Telecom New Zealand who are taking the charge by today announcing three handsets at an event in Auckland. Each handset comes from a different vendor with the first available from 23 November (just 4 days ahead of Telstra's launch in Australia):
- Nokia Lumia 920
- Arguably the top Windows Phone thanks to unique features such as wireless charging, camera featuring video stabalisation, an extremely solid/robust case, and unique applications such as Nokia City Lens and Nokia Maps
- Available in NZ from 23 November
- Initially available only in Black
- NZ$999 retail price (incl GST)
- Being sold in Australia for AU$829
- HTC Windows Phone 8S
- A stylish mid-range handset at an impressively reasonable price point
- Available in NZ from 6 December
- NZ$499 retail price (incl GST)
- Anticipated also on a similar date from Vodafone NZ
- Samsung Ativ S
- An impressive high-end handset that draws on the design and capabilities of the top selling Samsung Galaxy SIII - but adds a few refinements and Windows Phone 8
- Availability in NZ will be well behind the other launch handsets - now expected February 2013
- NZ$799 retail price (incl GST)
- Being sold in Australia for AU$799 (making the NZ pricing particularly sharp)
- Due also to be released by 2degrees Mobile in NZ
At Windows Phone NZ we've been fortunate to have our hands on all of the above handsets in recent days and weeks (we finally got to try the HTC 8S just today). We recently published screenshots from a prototype Samsung Ativ S, and are currently preparing a preview of the Nokia Lumia 920 and will follow that with a preview of the HTC Windows Phone 8S. All devices will also be discussed on the NZ Tech Podcast including a detailed roundup on Episode 99.
To stay current on Windows Phone 8 news be sure to follow our Twitter accounts - @WindowsPhoneNZ and @WindowsPhoneAU. Other relevant twitter accounts to follow include @WindowsPhone, @WindowsPhone8, @WP_Downunder
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NZ Tech Podcast 211: North Korean Internet KO’d, NZ Broadband speeds ramp up, Tasman Global Access Cable
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