Windows Phone 7 available today - lift-off... or mission aborted?
Three days ago we asked the question - where was Windows Phone 7? Microsoft's new mobile OS and related handsets were announced last week and were launched in the UK today, but three days ago only one service provider carried any information about price and tariffs.
So now, on the day of launch itself? Well, handset reviews are beginning to appear (check out Engadget's take on the Samsung Omnia 7) and we've heard some good reports from early adopters, but getting your hands on one still isn't as easy as it should be for a major launch.
Although seven handsets have been marketed by Microsoft, only three are available on the day of release; out of the five high major street brands selling Windows Phone 7, only three will sell you the handset and corresponding tariff online - two are still showing holding pages.
Here's a brief round-up of Windows Phone 7 pricing announced so far and its continuing struggle to be seen:
• Orange is still showing the holding page for the handset with no details of pricing - you still have to sign up for email alerts; their exclusive HTC 7 Mozart handset was launched in London earlier, but several Bitterwallet readers have reported the phone is unavailable in-store elsewhere in the country
• O2 is now selling the HTC HD7 handset, exclusive to O2 - it costs £380 on Pay & Go, but is only free on monthly tariffs of £45 and over on an 18 month contract (£40 a month on a 24 month contract)
• T-Mobile is the only service provider (or retailer) that had any information pre-launch - they've a Pay Monthly deal on the Samsung Omnia 7; the phone is free on tariffs over £35, but you'll have to pay up to £240 for the handset if you fancy a £25 tariff over 18 months
• No Windows Phone 7 handsets are available from Carphone Warehouse yet, but guess what? You can "pre-register your interest" in the HTC HD7. Lucky you.
• Like T-Mobile, Three is also selling the Samsung Omnia 7; they seem to have the better tariffs available, with £35 bagging you a free handset, a 1GB monthly data allowance, 500 minutes and 5,000 texts; an extra fiver a month gets you 2,000 minutes a month