Telstra cuts HTC Desire price as Nexus One launches


The nation’s biggest telco Telstra has taken a slice out of the cost of its flagship Android-based smartphone, the HTC Desire, just hours before rival Vodafone is slated to start selling Google’s Nexus One handset, which has similar specifications and was also built by HTC.

“Telstra announces new aggressive pricing for HTC Desire. To be available for $0 upfront on Telstra’s $49 Cap Plan from tomorrow,” Telstra said on its official Twitter account yesterday afternoon.

The telco had previously sold the Desire on a plan for $0 upfront on its $60 Consumer plan for 24 months, or for $0 upfront on its $85 Ultimate plan for 24 months – the latter including 150MB of data. But yesterday it revealed the Desire would now be available for $0 upfront on its $49 Cap plan on a 24 month contract, including 200MB of data each month. The next plan up – the $79 Cap plan – includes 500MB of data.

The news comes as Vodafone yesterday confirmed it would start selling the Nexus One today, although it only had “strictly limited” numbers of the device. No pre-orders were to be available, and the company was planning to take orders on a “first come, first-served based” through its website.

The company has won the exclusive right to sell the Nexus One in Australia and will offer the Google-branded handset for $0 upfront on a $79 cap plan on a 24 month contract.

Vodafone gave out little information to journalists yesterday about the launch, but it is providing further details to prospective customers through its Twitter account. The phone will be sold unlocked and won’t be available for sale in Vodafone stores – only online. There will be no unlocking fee and unlike the Desire, it won’t be available for purchase outright – only on a plan.

The mobile carrier could not immediately confirm when the 2.2 (Froyo) version of the Android operating system will be available to customers (the Nexus One will ship with Android 2.1), but it said the update would be available for download through the 3G network “soon”.

The HTC Desire has been available in Australia since mid-April. But a wave of other rival Android smartphones are currently hitting the market – such as Samsung’s Galaxy S, the LG Optimus and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Image credit: HTC


  1. Wow. $0 upfront on a $49 cap for a Desire on Telstra’s network is VERY good value. A year ago a deal like this would have been unimaginable, so it shows how competitive the mobile arena is becoming!

    The HTC Desire has the advantage of superior multi-touch over the Nexus One, as well as a nice aesthetic design (in my opinion anyway). Plus you get HTC’s sense (although the downside to this you’ll wait longer for Froyo).

    If it wasn’t for the imminent arrival of the iPhone 4 I would snap this up in a heartbeat.

  2. Simon why would you wait for the iPhone 4? It’s a broken phone with an antenna that doesn’t work. Apple has admitted that the software fix will not fix the reception issues. It seems some people just want the Apple brand name and not a product that works. What do they call that? Vanity?

    • Sigh. it really that hard for people to accept that some people are well educated about their hardware decisions, and like the iPhone 4 for reasons other than the “Apple name”?. The the fact that it’s Apple means nothing to me as far as image or brand loyalty. I’m a PC man and never owned a Mac and I’ve nearly bought a couple of Android phones I like (the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S to name a couple). As soon as there are better options available I will have no problem whatsoever leaving Apple behind and defecting to another platform.

      It is not a “broken phone” as you claim. While it’s true there is a design fault that means the attenuation of the signal can be affected by bridging of the antenna with human skin, this problem is 100% fixed by any one of the myriad of iPhone 4 cases on the market. I was definitely going to buy a case to protect it anyway which means this is a complete non issue for me. Here’s the one I’ll be getting as I really like the leather look and minimalist design – >

      Once the antenna is protected the iPhone actually has superior reception and less dropped calls than the 3GS. You only have to read the very comprehensive and scientifically conducted review at to see evidence of this. In addition to this is supports 900Mhz 3G (as opposed to the 3G/3GS which is 2100Mhz 3G only) it has faster data (as it now supports HSUPA and wireless n) and has better phonecall quality (thanks to a number of reasons including a noise cancellation mic).

      The Phone 4 also has the best screen on any smartphone by significant margin. With a 326ppi 960×640 screen there is nothing else on the market that comes close. The fact that it’s exactly 4x the number of pixels of older iPhones also means that older software can be easily updated to be re-rendered at the higher resolution of the phone, or it will automatically scale to that res with no uneven interpolation (which causes scaling artificacts) necessary. The only area AMOLED beats the iPhone 4’s IPS LCD is contrast, which is only relevant when viewing the phone with the lights out anyway. In a lit room it blows AMOLED away in terms of sharpness and brightness (and colour accuracy as AMOLED is known for it’s over-saturated look).

      It also has a far better range of applications available (many of which I have already bought and will be carrying across from my 3G), doesn’t suffer the fragmented compatibly problems of Android, has the best camera and video performance seen from a smartphone yet (the only one that comes close from samples I have seen is the Droid X, which isn’t available in Australia) and I’m also actively involved in the iPhone jailbreak theming/tweaking community which I love and don’t want to give up.

      Trust me when I say I follow the smartphone industry religiously, that I’m aware of evry single pro and con of both the Apple ecosystem and the open world of Android, and that I read reviews and evaluate new phones all the time to test performance. I like how far Android has come as a competitive smartphone platform, but for me it’s not quite there with any phones that are currently on the market.I expect Froyo and the next generation of Android hardware to address a lot of my problems (consistent UI and storing apps on external memory leap to mind) but I don’t want to wait that long to upgrade.

      There are still plenty of reasons for SOME people to prefer Apple over Android. I’m not suggesting that everyone should as it’s all down to what you want to get out of your phone Just don’t suggest that I’m some kind of blind “vane” sheep as it’s insulting and annoying.

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