The Great Taco HuntJim tries to buy an N-Gage, and ends up on wild Taco chase.
AdvertisementSo you've read our reviews and tales about the N-Gage, and you fancy getting one for yourself? Strangely enough that might be harder than it first appears as I've recently been finding out.
I was looking for a PAYG N-Gage in the UK, not because I'm a big fan of PAYG, but because I'm looking at the N-Gage as a one phone from a range to stick in my pocket. Sure the N-Gage is perfectly capable as a sole phone, but a little variety goes a long way, and I fancy picking up a Sendo X, P900 or Nokia 7700 to complement it when my current contract runs out.
So back to the hunt, at the time of the hunt (last week) the cheapest deals appeared to be on Orange, the very best with Woolworths at £129.99, and then various people including Orange themselves at £149.99. However after numerous trips to Woolworths, Orange shops, Carphone Warhorse, Uncle Tom Cobbley et al, I could not find a store that actually had any in stock or who were optimistic enough about receiving new stock to take an order.
We've got a few theories about this, the main optimistic theory being that Orange may just have hit on the sweet spot for the N-Gage with this price. If so this would explain the lack of stock due to the device selling quickly, also this price compares pretty closely with recent offers at 199 EUR (£136) and 199 USD (£109 + taxes) we've seen in Gemany and the US.
A straw poll around friends and colleagues certainly shows plenty of interest for the N-Gage at this price, so who's going to follow Orange?
Maybe we were just seeing a glitch in the pipeline, and there's a flood of N-Gages waiting to pour into the shops, but I really don't know. I ended up buying it over the net from Freedom Phones in Glasgow (Ewan was very impressed with me sending some English money North of the border), but it might be worth emailing them to check for stock first!
Postscript: I really asked for it - "so who's going to follow Orange?" The first to follow and beat Orange's price is Virgin at £99.99 (with a possible £20 discount for handing in an old phone). So £80 for a series 60 phone without a contract, that's pretty keen!
Published by Rafe Blandford at 8:41 UTC, August 26th