new zealand

Lumia 830, the affordable flagship from Microsoft, is now available for sale in New Zealand. The Windows Phone device is available exclusively from Spark, the leading carrier in New Zealand.

The Lumia 830 is the first Windows Phone to use Spark's brand new 700MHz spectrum, which promises blisteringly fast 4G speeds in more places allowing people to do more and get more out of their devices.

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The Lumia 930 is currently listed for $749.99 at MobiCity, with three colored variants reported to be in stock. Vodafone has previously stated the mobile operator is looking to launch the Windows Phone in the region this month, grabbing exclusivity on the handset. Should you wish to purchase the device outright and not be locked into a contract (or with an operator), options like MobiCity are ideal.

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We've received a tip that the New Zealand mobile operator Telecom is currently rolling out a firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 920. It's believed the update unlocks 4G connectivity, which was previously disabled. The network will be launching its 4G upgrade next month and this update will ensure Lumia 920 owners will be able to enjoy faster data transfer speeds.

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The Lumia 925 by Nokia is a premium Windows Phone, and is well loved here at Windows Phone Central. The device was last reported to be on the way to New Zealand on Vodafone, and today we can relay news that the Windows Phone is now available for purchase.

How much will it set you back? Absolutely nothing if you're going on contract, or $999 if you already have a Prepay or On Account plan.

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Telecom New Zealand looks to be the first mobile carrier on the island nation to be taking pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 1020. Despite earlier rumors that the Lumia 1020 would be priced at $1299 outright, it will in fact only run you $1149. You can also opt for different contract lengths to knock the upfront cost down to as low as $149.

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Microsoft's New Zealand general manager Paul Muckleston has boasted at this week's Tech Ed 2013 conference in Auckland that the company has leaped in smartphone marketshare in the region, from just 2 percent two years ago to 15 percent reported in July of this year. We've previously looked at how Microsoft has been gaining grounds in Europe and Latin America.

Muckleston notes that consumers in the region can expect to see more localised apps on the store.

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It’s hard to find a single person who isn’t super stoked when they finally get 4G on their network. Vodafone New Zealand started rolling out their 4G network this past February. It started in Auckland and Christchurch, but has slowly been expanding. It’s now launching in Palmerston North. As part of that launch, customers on Vodafone NZ can soon pick up a new Nokia Lumia 925 to enjoy that high-speed connectivity.

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It looks like those on Telecom, based in New Zealand, won’t be getting their hands on the excellent Nokia Lumia 925 as was planned. A source familiar with the carrier has informed us that the phone has evidently failed network testing and “won't be offered by Telecom”. What makes the matter worse is that the Lumia 920 was designated end-of-life (EOL) last month and indeed, that phone is no longer listed on Telecom’s website (though you can still purchase it in-store).

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MobiCity is now taking orders for the Nokia Lumia 925 in Australia and New Zealand. You can choose between black or white. Black is pre-order only at the moment, but white will ship within a week. The Lumia 925 is unlocked and comes with a 12-month warranty for $959.00, pre-tax. Tax, customs and shipping will run you another couple of hundred bucks.

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The official Twitter account for New Zealand's bank ASB (www.asb.co.nz) tweeted a photo that teases a Windows Phone app for customers to make use of mobile banking. ASB joins numerous other banks that have released apps for the platform, adding another name to the pool of officially supported apps.

While no details are included, we can see the app offering a number of features. Amongst the list of menu items is an option for exchange rates and possible conversion calculators, as well as the ability to locate nearest branches and (we'd assume) ATMs, receive quick balance checks to stay on top of the bottom line without diving into feature rich account management, visit the official ASB website and to contact the bank for enquiries.

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Orange Stripes has released a NeatStreets app for Windows Phone. NeatStreets is a service available for those who reside in Australia (website) and New Zealand (website), which enables residents to report on any issues with litter, graffiti, sanitation, footpaths, roads, streetlights, and more. These reports are forwarded to the authorities who will be able to act on the compiled information.

We have a similar Windows Phone app here in the UK, called Love Clean Streets, which pretty much shares the same functionality as NeatStreets. The services are a great way for Windows Phone users to help keep local environments clean and to alert local authorities to anything that's considered an issue. NeatStreets is a simple, yet effective, app which can be utilised wherever the user may be located.

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In a somewhat surprising move, Nokia and Vodafone New Zealand have released the Lumia 610 for $449 (off-contract) and it is now available on that carrier for purchase.

The somewhat low-cost Lumia 610 features a 3.7” non-ClearBlack LCD display, 256MB of RAM and a 800Mhz CPU with 8GB of storage. While not the most exciting device in terms of specs, the build quality is quite high—at least higher than anything LG has put out recently (Quantum being the exception).

We say "somewhat low-cost" only because while the Lumia 610 is affordable (we bought ours unlocked for less than $300 US), some would argue that it’s still not cheap enough when up against some Android devices or even up against the superior Lumia 710.

But at least according to Nokia ANZ's sales director, Steve Lewis, the company was seeing "real momentum" with their Lumia phones. Of course Steve may be a little biased here and it’s certainly not enough to boost Nokia’s stock but hey, we kind of like the 610 and what Nokia is doing, so let’s hope it sells in New Zealand.

Head to Vodafone's page to grab it for $449 off-contract or free with a SmartData $90 plan.

Source: PCWorld; via Stuff; Thanks, CE7, for the heads up

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As we're always on the hunt here for great deals, it's nice to find this one from New Zealand Telecom. They're evidently offering a $0 down package on either the Nokia Lumia 710 or the Lumia 800.

The fine print states that you need to sign up for "Talk & Text Anytime or Smartphone $60 plan or higher for 24 months" for the Lumia 710 deal or an $80 plan for the more pricey Lumia 800.

If that sounds like something for you or a companion, head to their site to get more details.

Source: New Zealand Telecom; Thanks, @fraserzhu, for the heads up!

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The All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby team, were being recorded by a hovering Lumia 800 Windows Phone when they took it down with an accurate throw. Not too sure what the video is supposed to be promoting, apart from the phone being relatively sturdy and being able to record while flying through a training ground, but it's a laugh nonetheless.

Source: YouTube (Nokia), thanks tommohammed for the heads up!

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Interested in rugby for both Australia and New Zealand? Enjoy the NRL (National Rugby League)? You're going to want to purchase NRL Season 2012 for Windows Phone for your app arsenal. The developers of the AFL Season 2012 app has continued the their efforts to bring fixtures, ladders, news, results, and more to rugby fans. 

Here's an fairly detailed list of available features:

  • View Upcoming Matches for Nominated Team(s).
  • View Embedded Live Scores + Ladders
  • View Fixtures by Round or by Team.
  • Covers 2012 Regular Season, Finals + SOO
  • Pin your team logo to your live tile.
  • UX (Headers) is themed to your nominated team colors
  • View Team page with info, links and upcoming matches.
  • Browse Latest RSS News Feeds from Major Sites
  • Browse Team + Match specific Twitter feeds
  • Comprehensive Venue details with Maps + Navigation
  • View Venue and Team Guides
  • View Additional Scores/Player/Team Stats Online
  • Auto Updates Fixtures as changes are made
  • Hide Live Scores Settings

As is the case with the AFL app, NRL Season 2012 will preload images and content to minimise data usage for those on tight restricted contracts. The app will also convert times to match your location.

You can download NRL Season 2012 from the Marketplace for $1.99, with a free trial available.

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The NZ Herald, popular newspaper in New Zealand, has released an app for Windows Phone, providing frequent readers on the mobile platform with more convenient access to articles. Though it should be noted that to read full news stories IE is required. Some highlighted features:

  • View all your favourite sections of the Herald - National, World, Business, Sport, Technology, Video, Entertainment, Motoring, Lifestyle, Travel and Opinion.
  • Swipe between sections, tap on a headline to preview and read the full story if you want more.
  • Easily share stories with your social networks.
  • View the latest photo galleries and video in full screen.

Hopefully we'll see more integration, with support for full articles, offline reading, etc. in future updates. It's good to see more official support for Windows Phone nonetheless. You can download NZ Herald from the Marketplace for free. 

Source: NZ Herald

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Nokia has teamed up with Microsoft to offer more support for local developers in both Australia and New Zealand with a series of Training Workshops that will provide an insight to those who are interested in building apps for the platform. The event is free of charge and prizes (Lumia handsets) will be available in an App Challenge.

The event schedule:

Be sure to get in there quickly and register should you wish to attend.

Source: Nokia Developer Events, via: WPDownUnder

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Good news for those in New Zealand--you'll be getting both the Nokia Lumia 710 and the Lumia 800 come March, finally bringing some solid Gen 2 devices your way.

The big winner is Telecom NZ who will be getting both devices with the "exclusive" interestingly on the 710, while Vodafone NZ will be getting the Lumia 800 for their customers. The info comes by way of two sources: Nokia NZ who Tweeted as much earlier today and reader Matt H. who sent us this flyer from his local Telecom store, proudly featuring both Lumias as "coming soon".

Unfortunately, no word on either carrier getting the Lumia 900 although we must say, the chances for New Zealanders is getting better. You can also pre-register on Telecom right here.

Thanks, Tom M. Liam O. and Matt H., for the tip!

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We haven't covered Rdio around these parts too much, partly because there are plenty of other alternatives that we're more familiar with (e.g. iHeartRadio, Last.FM, etc.). Still, we imagine for a few people in Australia and New Zealand who may want to try it, so good news for them as they now have access to the music streaming app.

That's the good news. Well that and there's been a Rdio app in the Marketplace for quite some time, meaning you can now also stream it to your Windows Phone. Which is all great except for the fact that the Rdio Windows Phone app is pretty awful, judging by the reviews in the Marketplace. The consensus seems to be that it barely works and is coded terribly, despite being updated numerous times.

So congrats on the new service and our condolences on the app which can be found here...if you dare.

Source: Rdio Blog; Thanks, KustomAU, for the tip

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