There are few stories that this author writes which are capable of inducing a good, old fashioned, girlie squeal of delight. But here is one: The 32GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S III is coming to Blighty! Whoop!
Unfortunately, the bad news is that Vodafone has nabbed exclusivity on said variant which means if you're not with big red, you're going to have to do some serious PAC coding.
The handset is actually up for pre-order right now and will go on sale officially on the same day as every other network and SIM-free deal: May 30th. Yes, just three weeks away.
It's not going to be particularly cheap - you'll have to sign your life away for £46 a month for the next two years, although that will at least secure you 1,200 mins, unlimited texts and 2GB of data. Alternatively, you can get the 16GB version for £41 a month but the number of minutes is slashed to 900.
Many people will find it works out cheaper to buy a SIM-free model and then go on a SIM-only deal to avoid the ludicrous overcharging networks and retailers do when a gadget of this calibre comes out. It's what this author is doing. But if you're thinking of doing the same, heed a warning:
This is borne out of this writer's own personal experience. He ordered one SIM-free on pre-order from Carphone Warehouse. His bank declined his credit card as a routine security matter as he'd made another high spend purchase the day before so CPW cancelled the order. Nothing wrong there. A simple phone call to the bank should fix it, right?
When he tried to reorder it having spoken to his bank and verified all was as it should be, the order automatically cancelled itself again a few hours later. And it happened again a third time.
When he called Carphone Warehouse, he was told that that initial card decline had 'blacklisted' him from buying anything from the company for thirty days. There would be no possibility of reviewing the situation and his custom would not be taken in store, over the phone or online for the SIII or any other item - even with a different card. In short, I'm not welcome at CPW for thirty days.
Apparently, it's an anti-fraud measure - though Carphone Warehouse's complaints advisor conceded it was a bit heavy-handed to blacklist somebody from their systems for a month with no hope of 'unblackisting them' due to customer policy over a simple bank security check. When the advisor was asked if he'd ever seen the "computer says no" sketch from Little Britain, he agreed it was ridiculous but he had no way of over-riding the system.
The long and short of it is that Carphone Warehouse doesn't want my custom and has actively blocked me from buying anything there for matters that were nothing to do with me. They've also indirectly intimated that I may be involved in fraudulent activity. So the excitement of buying a new phone turned to frustration and offence was duly taken.
The reason this has gone off on a tangent is to warn others who may be pre-ordering to ensure they have an acceptance of the order email to ensure its gone through. Luckily I've got one through another retailer. Be wise.