Galaxy S III launch: Telecom, 2degrees boost plans at last minute
RIGHT - THE SHAPE OF THINGS (l-to-r): The 3.5-inch display iPhone 4S, 4.7-inch HTC One X, 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III and 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note.
For Samsung Galaxy S III competetists, two carriers have tweaked their plans at the last minute today.
2degrees says its 12 months of 1GB bonus data per month (for those who sign up to either of the two $89 plans mentioned below) will be extended to 24 months from June 5.
The change will be back-dated for those who sign up now.
Telecom has tweaked its plans so customers can get the S III for $0 upfront on a 24 month $100 Smartphone or Talk & Text plan. Customers can also get the SIII for $199 upfront on a 24 month $80 Smartphone or Talk & Text plan.
Score one for Samsung NZ, which has all three major carriers vying against each other with contract deals for its Galaxy S III.
The Korean company’s new smartphone goes on sale at midnight. With nine million pre-orders, it’s shaping up to provide Apple’s iPhone (Q1 sales: 37 million) with some serious opposition – or at least cement the Galaxy series’ place as the best-selling handset in the Google Android camp.
This morning, 2degrees said it would sell the 16GB version of the S III off-contract for $1049 – the same price as Telecom and Vodafone (and the same price as a 16GB iPhone 4S).
All carriers also have $0 up front options - as long as you committ to a two-year contract.
Galaxy SIII pricing (16GB model; all plans 24-month)
2degrees: $1049 off-contract; $0 on its $89/month Business or Pay Monthly plan (both incl 250MB of data)
Telecom: $1049 off-contract; $0 on $120/month Smartphone Plan (incl 2GB of data), $199 on $100/plan (also 2GB of data), or $399 on $80/month plan (1GB); more Smartphone plan details here
Vodafone: $1049 off-contract; $0 on Smart Data plans ranging from $90 (with 1GB of data) to $120 (2GB) to $150 a month (2.5GB); more details here
For its part Samsung is throwing in a free 50GB Dropbox account - one-upping HTC's One X, which arrives with 25GB. The promotion applies across all carriers.
Overseas buyers also get the option to buy versions of the S III with 32GB or 64GB of on-board memory on contract.
Here, some retailers will sell the higher-end models (JB Hi-Fi has the 32GB for $1147).
Samsung NZ telecommunications head Stefan Lecchi told NBR ONLINE it was up to Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees whether they chose to range the 32GB or 64GB models with contract plans.
50 to Sydney, one into space
Unprecedented hoopla for a local smartphone release has also seen Samsung jet 50 people to Sydney today for the official launch (a mix of executives from Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees; media; and major resellers).
Meanwhile, Vodafone is trying to stand out from the pack buy offering a $270,000 flight into space for a customer who buys the S III before July 15. One would assume it is on Virgin Galactic.
But, curiously, a Vodafone spokeswoman would only say it was a "trusted space flight provider". Is it in the US? If not, do we trust the Russians? NBR ONLINE demands answers.