Technofreak: It's a weird world we live in where the retailer dictates what the customer can buy. That's not a dig at MS but a comment on this situation in general.
Why should Telco's have this power? In fact why should they be in the device retail space at all? We're back in the days where the NZPO dictated what phone you had in your house.
TV service providers like Sky don't sell TV's nor do they dictate what sort of device you can buy. I'm sure there are other examples.
TV is very much like telco. Sky is never going to let you decode their channels on FreeviewPlus devices for instance. Until recently TVNZ On Demand favoured Samsung TVs over other brands.
Pretty much any industry in which large businesses are involved in the distribution are going to have these kinds of market effects. We should be thankful we're not in the US where large swathes of the country are only covered by one cellular provider. In this local monopoly situation, both device manufacturers and customers have to bend over and be thankful for what they get.