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Where best to buy a smartphone in Ireland

Whether it's HTC or Apple, Nokia or Sony Ericsson, Research in Motion or Samsung, the people of Ireland are never far from their weapon of choice in this age dominated by the smartphone. Ireland has, since the boom years, rarely been far behind the march of technology - her citizens always keen to get their hands on the latest object of desire regardless of the cost.

The big question on everyone's lips however seems to be where these miniscule technological delights can be purchased for the best price. It's a fair question and, despite our insatiable appetite for the high tech, one that has become increasingly important in recent years.

While local independent retail outlets used to be the staple of the Irish shopper's diet, things have now moved in favour of the huge foreign superstores that dominate our urban areas and, for those who seek to avoid the retail experience entirely, online shopping.

Digital auction sites like eBay often represent the best value for money for those who find themselves far less concerned about warranties, return policies or waiting for two weeks for their order to arrive. Although delivery may not be instantaneous, the savings certainly are. The canny digital shopper can save hundreds of Euros on the cost of a top of the range smartphone by keeping a close eye on eBay auctions. Even the price of shipping should you decide to buy from the States will have have little impact on the percentage saved overall.

For those of you who prefer to buy their goods from a bricks and mortar store, The Carphone Warehouse is the ideal place to start looking for your new pride and joy. They carry a range of handsets unrivalled by anyone else in the country, and stock phones for all the major Irish networks - often at prices far lower than those of their competitors.

If the thought of so many options in one place overwhelms you, then you could take a look in one of the countless wireless service provider outlets dotted throughout the country. Whether you're with O2, Vodafone, Meteor, 3 or any of the smaller networks, you're bound to find a smartphone that fits both your palm and your budget.

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