Nokia N900 availability in New Zealand

So. They’re not out yet but I want one, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be easy to get hold of one.

I enquired with a friend who’s a computer dealer this week. He has an account with a major wholesalers that distributes Nokia devices, so I figured it would be a good place to start. The reply I got back was rather interesting.

Hi Alex,

By some wondrous decision, without consultation, we are now NOT allowed to sell any product from the importer that has Cell capabilities.

We have approached the commerce commission but they are swamped with bigger matters!

Long live New Zealand’s free trade… It appears that the big brothers still run the country.


Say what?

So I decided to ask Nokia themselves. And this is the response:

Hi Alex,

I am pleased to hear of your keen interest in the Nokia N900.

At this stage, there are no updates when this phone will be launched and release in Asia Pacific, which is including New Zealand. Hence, I do apologise as I am unable to confirm if the Nokia N900 will be available for sale in New Zealand once it is launched in Asia Pacific.

Kindly be advised that all new product launches are carrier and market dependent in all countries due to the tests carried out to ensure compatibility with network and government regulations. Hence, the launch dates are still not available as it is still in tests and awaiting approval from the respective network providers and government.

As a suggestion, you can subscribe to our Nokia e-Newsletter. The e-newsletter will provide any latest updates on our products as well dates for new product launches. You may refer to the link below to register for the e-Newsletter subscription:

We thank you for your interest in Nokia products and hope for your continued support.

Hope the above helps to clarify your query.

Thank you for emailing Nokia Careline! Please help us serve you better by providing your valuable feedback at:

[Link removed, has UID]

Do you know you can now update your phone software at your own convenience?
Visit to check if your phone model is supported and download the “Nokia Software Updater”.

Kind regards,

Nokia Careline
Please contact us at 0800 665 421

Well I’m 100% sure that no government regulations are going to get in the way of a generic HSDPA device, so in other words, they need to wait for Vodafone to test whether an HSDPA 900/2100 device will work on an HSDPA 900/2100 network.

Can’t the consumer take some responsibility here? What if we want a phone that’s not locked to a particular carrier’s network? Paying $1000+ for a phone that only works on Vodafone’s network? I don’t think so. What if we want to buy a phone at market value rather than the exorbitant markup Telecom and Vodafone put on their phones? Vodafone charges $1800 for the N97 which is close to 100% markup and totally absurd.

I’m sure the high markup is done to make the contracts which include the phone more attractive, but it completely shafts anyone that doesn’t want to be locked in.

This market needs to change. Networks are built on standards, and so long as the device is compliant with those standards there should be no need for the carrier to “approve” them and control the market. Cellular devices are not just phones anymore, they’re computers, and the market isn’t reflecting that. I think the wholesaler’s decision not to sell cellular devices to computer retailers is strongly influenced by another party – and it’s fairly obvious who this benefits (hint: not the wholesaler, consumer or computer retailer, and I’d be dubious about whether this benefits Nokia in any way).

It looks like I will have to get one from a parallel importer. But I’m not particularly happy about it.

10 thoughts on “Nokia N900 availability in New Zealand

  1. Damar

    Coming from South Africa it was shock to discover that you can only use your phone on a particular network and teh prices of phones here. Specially Telecom, I bought a $1000 phone and now their CDMA network will apparently be stopped in 2011/2012 (or sure how true that is) But still what am I suppose to do with my phone if I can;t carry it over to a 3G network.

    I suppose a doorstop.

    But I do find it a cheek that they still sell phones on a network that will be stopped. Does not matter whether you pay $20 for the phone.

  2. maxxi

    Yeah Totally absurd, I hate Vodafone Pricing badly. I’m planing to get N900 from ASIA instead when ever it come out. Look like Nokia N900 will be delay again untl atleast Novemember for its release in EUROPE and UK. Hope to get this phone by early 2010 though. New Zealand will be lucky to get this phone in August 2010.

    NZ is always 6months to 1year delay in technology goods.

  3. Alex

    Delayed again? Doh!

    @Damar, yeah Telecom’s CDMA has been on borrowed time for a while. They shouldn’t be selling such expensive CDMA phones, or at least they should be informing the consumer at the time of purchase!

    1. maxxi

      I’m keep an eye out for this device right now. Hope to get my experience with it. :D Love the design though. Simple and stylus.

  4. Antz

    what no way it doesnt take half a year to get to NZ. n97 came to vodafone sometime in late august, (at a rideculous price yes!) so took them 2 monthes-ish.
    i got my n97 paralle and that took about 3 weeks after the release date.
    so hopfully n900 can make its way here with the same speed.

    ps. not really happy that i got n97 now that n900 looks totally awesome. but it does look a bit on the thick side

    1. Alex

      Yes, but only in areas with 2100mhz (3G) coverage, i.e. central city. Telecom’s XT network uses the 850mhz band for low bandwidth high range areas, whereas Vodafone’s uses 900mhz. So if you can get hold of a 850/2100 version (i.e. the North American version), you could use it on XT.

  5. Jason

    well the n900 is really awesome compared to the n97. soo quick. only bad thing is not much updates.

    1. Alex

      There have been a couple of major updates and a couple of minor since release, and another major one is due any day. Not sure how many the N97 has had, but the updates for the N900 seem to be more frequent than the N78.


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