Windows Phone 8 will launch in New Zealand this Friday, 23 November, when the Nokia Lumia 920 goes on sale at Telecom retail stores.
While Telecom will only be selling the Lumia 920 in black, Nokia did not rule out Kiwis getting the other Lumia 920 colours through different carriers. Accessories and phones at the event came in all colours, seen in the shot we took, below.
has tried out the HTC Windows Phone 8S and the Samsung Ativ S. The Ativ S is sleek, with Galaxy S III-like appearances (see image just below). The Windows Phone 8S feels remarkably thin and light - it's 113 grams in total and just over a centimetre thick. The 8S will be available in black and white only.
Vodafone will also carry the 8S from 1 December.
With Windows Phone 8 devices, Kiwis will get a free 30-day trial of Xbox Music - no word on whether you have to fork over your credit card details to take the trial, though.
All existing Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5 apps will work on Windows Phone 8 devices - that's 120,000 apps - and all of them will appear in the Windows Phone 8 store.
Telecom today hosted the New Zealand launch of Windows Phone 8 at it's Auckland headquarters, showing off three Windows Phone 8 handsets that it will launch before the holiday season.
Journalists in attendence got hands-on time with three Windows Phone 8 handsets, two of which Telecom says it will launch on its network shortly.
The Nokia Lumia 920 is the first handset available, premiering this week - Friday 23 November. It's the premium Windows 8 handset, and it will cost $999 to buy outright. Nokia tells us it will be available in black from Telecom.
HTC's 8S will be the cheapest model in the range at $499 - it will launch on 6 December.
In between these two in price, at $799, is the Samsung Ativ S, which Telecom estimates will launch in February 2013, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Telecom Chief Executive Retail Chris Quin said, “The Windows mobile operating system continues to be deliberately different to others on the market, and it is great to be able to offer this sort of choice on our Smartphone Network."
Also on display, thanks to Microsoft being in attendence at the event, were a range of PCs and Tablets running Windows 8.
“The creation of one Windows 8 ecosystem across mobile, tablet and PCs is a real strength and will have a hugely positive impact on business and consumers alike, who are familiar with Windows on their PCs and will quickly come to grips with the format on their phones,” said Quin.
Microsoft New Zealand Managing Director Paul Muckleston said, “Windows Phone 8 brings together some stunning hardware from our partners and best consumer experiences from Microsoft – Xbox Music and games, Skype, Internet Explorer and Office."
Telecom plans to introduce additional Windows Phone 8 handsets in early 2013 with details to be released in the New Year.
Telecom's Windows Phone 8 handsets
Nokia Lumia 920
- Launch date: 23 November, 2012
- Price: RRP $999.00
- Launch date: 6 December, 2012
- Price: RRP $499
Samsung Ativ S
- Launch date: TBC Feb 2013
- Price: RRP$799