Australia undercuts US on plan prices for latest Samsung phone

Australia is ahead of the US and “not far behind” the UK, according to a WhistleOut report.

Australians are receiving better prices than Americans on mobile phones, according to a study by WhistleOut. The comparison website analysed plan prices for the Samsung Galaxy S3 in Australia, the US, UK and New Zealand.

Australian plans were cheaper than the US, and nearly as cheap as the UK, said WhistleOut, which reviewed 50 plans in Australia, 97 in the UK, 31 in the US and 18 in New Zealand.

“Technology prices are known to be far cheaper in the USA, however the Galaxy S3 shows that to be false for mobile phones on service plans,” WhistleOut director, Cameron Craig, said in a statement. “The UK remains one of the most competitive mobile phone markets in terms of pricing on the leading handsets, but Australia is not far behind.”

“Virgin Mobile and Vodafone are both currently offering bonus data promotions for Australian customers who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S3 plan, pushing their overall offering right up there with the best value UK plans,” Craig said. “Virgin Mobile for example, is offering an online promotion with three months free access and a bonus 2GB of free data per month included, which reduces their total plan price by 12 per cent and adds the equivalent of $240 in data value.”

WhistleOut first compared plans with a minimum 400 call minutes and 250MB data, and then plans with unlimited calls and a minimum 500MB data. The study doesn’t appear to compare the reliability or performance of each network under review.

In the first category, Virgin Mobile Australia’s Big Plan 29 was the best value, providing 400 minutes and 2GB data with the Galaxy S3 handset for $49 per month, WhistleOut said. Including Virgin’s bonus promotion of three free months, the total contract cost is $1,034. The UK’s most similar plan provided 500 minutes and 500MB data for $1,202, the website said. The cheapest comparable plans in New Zealand cost $1,881 and in the US $1,875.

In the unlimited calls category, the UK beat the other nations with its T-Mobile Full Monty 41 plan offering unlimited calls and data with a two-year plan and the handset for $1,527 over the contract’s life. But Australia was still ahead of the US and NZ with the Vodafone $79 Infinite Plan ($1,738). A comparable plan in the U.S. was $2,584; in New Zealand, $2,802.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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