NetGuide NZ - The Techday Weekender - Jun 2nd 2012

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The Techday Weekender - Jun 2nd 2012

Samsung’s long-awaited Galaxy S III launched in New Zealand this week, with the three providers all competing to offer the device at the best price.

Telecom fired the first shot last week, announcing they would give the handset away free for customers who signed up to a 24-month, $120-per-month plan.

Vodafone followed that with a special launch offer of $90 per month, rising to $120 per month when an undisclosed number of devices have been sold.

Both incumbents were then trumped by 2degrees the day before the launch, with the third provider offering the handsets free for plans worth $89 per month. The aggressive move even forced Telecom to cut its pricing, the company announcing the day the device went on sale that it would drop its minimum contract price to an even $100.

Of course, as Techday commenter Damian Funnell pointed out, the price comparisons must be considered in regards to what calling, text and data allowances come with each plan.

That may be why Vodafone opted to throw in a chance for buyers to win a space travel prize worth a hefty $270,000 as an added incentive (incidentally, Techday’s reviewer has put the Galaxy S III through its paces, and we’ll be posting a full review next week).

In other telco news, an Australian analyst has mooted the possibility of Telstra buying one of the kiwi mobile providers to complement its local internet operation, TelstraClear.

Our telecommunications columnist was all for the venture, saying Telstra has the cash to invest, and with the local providers all facing significant capital expenditure if they hope to keep up with the arrival of LTE technology, they may feel it’s a good time to sell.

Speaking of selling, MetService launched its own app for iPhone and Android this week, adding to the iPad app the organisation released just under a year ago.

Unfortunately, it seems the new apps may suffer from the same hindrance as the old offering, which is the need to pay for their production.

The iPad app is criticised on its app store page for using hefty ads to pay its way. With the iPhone and Android versions, MetService is simply asking users for cold-hard cash.

Admittedly, $2.59 isn’t a huge amount to pay for a cool-looking app, but responses to our story indicate there will be plenty of people around who would rather save their pennies and just use the standard MetService website.

In overseas developments, Google started rolling out its new search feature, Knowledge Graph, while Microsoft offered a near-final version of its new operating system with the launch of the Windows 8 ‘release preview’.

And finally, months of work here at Techday came to a head this week with the re-branding of our website and our three print titles, NetGuide, The Channel and IT Brief. We’re really excited about this move and we think it’s going to make it a lot easier for people to find the stories they want to read on Techday, without feeling like they’re disconnected from the rest of the site. The coolest thing of all is the ‘responsive design’ that’s been built into Techday, which makes the site automatically re-arrange itself depending on the type of screen it’s being viewed on, whether it’s a wide desktop display or a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone.

We’re just doing some final tweaking at the moment but you’ll be able to see the new site yourself in the next few days. We hope you like it – please let us know what you think!

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