Telstra this morning revealed that it had decided to start selling its flagship Android-based handset the HTC Desire a week early, with the mobile to go on sale from today online and at its [T]life retail outlets in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
“In response to massive interest from Australian consumers, Telstra has moved the launch of HTC Desire forward by almost a week to today,” said Ross Fielding, executive director of Mobility Products at Telstra in a statement issued this morning. “The accelerated launch means Australians will be the first in Asia-Pacific to experience this breakthrough smartphone.”
HTC first revealed the Desire in mid-February at the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona, Spain. The devce has been hailed by commentators as similar in specifications to Google’s own branded phone, the Nexus One, which HTC manufactures for the search giant.
Fielding said Telstra had contacted customers who had pre-registered their interest in the smartphone, and added that the telco had extended its Australian exclusivity deal on the Desire from three months to six months.
Telstra stores and dealers across Australia will receive deliveries of the HTC Desire progressively through the week, with “most stores expected to have stock by Friday ahead of the long weekend”.
The telco will sell the Desire on a range of plans, including for zero dollars upfront on the company’s $60 Consumer plan for 24 months (with a minimum price of $1440) or, again for zero upfront on a $85 Ultimate plan for 24 months, for a minimum cost of $2040, including 150MB of data.
The Desire can also be purchased outright, with a recommended retail price of $779. The smartphone runs version 2.1 of the Android operating system, integrated with HTC’s Sense user interface. It features a 1GHz Snapdragon processor under the hood, and a 3.7″, WVGA AMOLED display.
The news comes as other carriers Optus and VHA have been slower to launch the latest Android handsets on their networks, although Optus is pushing ahead with an exclusive deal on Android-based Motorola handsets, and VHA recently revealed it had plans to bring the Android-based Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Down Under.
Image credit: HTC