Thursday, July 2, 2009

HTC Magic casts its own spell, vanishes from New Zealand (Updated)

By Benedict Wee

Looks like the New Zealand's first Android phone has weaved its own kind of magic and has disappeared from Vodafone's shops as well as their website.

When asked about the phone on their official forum, Vodafone's External Communications Manager Paul Brislen replied:

Having a bit of an issue - apologies to all. Not a technical issue...

hope to have it back on board shortly


When asked for a more specific reason he answered:



When contacting a nearby Vodafone store about the Magic their reply was:

It has been withdrawn from sale nationwide until further notice

On Twitter, Paul's reply was:

So what could be the reason for Vodafone pulling the Magic from the shelves? Here are my theories:
  • Apple found out they were selling a phone that was in direct competition with theirs and was furious and threatened to cut them off from the new iPhone 3GS.
  • There is some licensing issue with Android, Google or HTC.
  • An extension of the previous theory, there might be some issues with the Android Market. It's still not available in New Zealand and they could have run into problems with the currency conversion or the censorship of applications.
  • Vodafone has decided to rectify the lowered spec phone. As I've previously mentioned, Vodafone's Magic does not have QuickOffice nor voice search and I've recently discovered that it has lower RAM (192MB compared to the HTC branded 288MB).
Anybody want to contribute their speculation?

Update: It seems that the pictures Ben Gracewood -TVNZ gadget guru and all round nice guy-posted on his blog of the Vodafone Black/White Magic party held last week might have something to do with the phone being pulled from New Zealand. The pictures contained naked ladies in body paint spotting logos from Google and Vodafone. He has since put the pictures back up. Full explanation here.

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