The tech that Kiwis miss out on

The Amazon Echo device was released two years ago but still isn't on sale in New Zealand.

The Amazon Echo device was released two years ago but still isn't on sale in New Zealand.

Kiwis often get early access to most new gadgets and services despite being a small country on the far side of the world.

The two biggest smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung, release their devices here on the same day as the US, Europe and Asia.

However, some companies ignore New Zealand, while other products available here have limited capability.

And while you can get just about anything sent here using services such as YouShop, you have to deal with overseas power plugs and potential compatibility problems.

READ MORE: Apple reveals a smart speaker, new iPad and new iMac 

Here are some of the products not readily available in New Zealand.


Roku is the most popular television streaming device.

Roku is the most popular television streaming device.

This home speaker has been a big seller for Amazon and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it, is now also available for some smartphones.

Unfortunately, it's not available to buy here despite being released two years ago. That may have something to do with our Kiwi accent or maybe New Zealand just isn't a big enough market to bother with.


This is the most popular television streaming device. While it is possible to buy one in New Zealand with the correct power plug, it's very expensive compared to its US price and it lacks the ability to use NZ-specific apps.


Belgium has one, so does Singapore and the UAE while Australia has 22 but New Zealand still doesn't have a physical Apple Store.

Because of our small size, we're unlikely to get one anytime soon, though we do have an online version that stocks all Apple products. But no physical store does mean Kiwis don't have access to the company's Genius Bar, which provides support and repairs for customers.


The home speaker market is one of the hottest tech products at the moment but Google's version is not on sale here. It's not looking good for Kiwis with the company's just-released Google Assistant app for iPhones is not available in New Zealand either.


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The missing-in-action digital assistant theme continues with Apple. The company launched the 4th generation of its Apple TV last year with one of the main features being able to search using Siri. While the device was available here, the Siri function was missing and is still not activated.


Google doesn't have physical stores but its New Zealand online store is woeful. There are no Pixel smartphones or Daydream VR headsets for sale (PB Tech has both in stock), though you can buy a Chromecast streaming device and cables.


While the fibre rollout is going well in New Zealand, many Kiwis still can't get fast access to the internet. So far, just over 1.1 million people are able to connect to fibre, with about one-third of those actually connected. For this tech, you need to be patient with the plan being to connect 85 per cent of Kiwis within seven years.


The popular ride-sharing app is available in our three main cities but anyone living in the regions still needs to rely on taxis or public transport when not using their own vehicle.


Kiwis spend a lot of time and money shopping on Amazon but we're not able to buy these popular and affordable (US$50) tablets. The first model was released in 2011 and the most recent sixth generation went on sale late last year.


This company makes affordable 4K televisions that are well liked by tech reviewers. Its latest range of 55-inch 4K TVs start from US$550 (NZ$760). Review website The Wirecutter names a Vizio model as its top recommended television​.

 - Stuff


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