news Australian specialist Android media outlet Ausdroid has reported that Telstra may have delayed its rumoured launch of a 4G version of HTC’s new One smartphone series, further pushing back the date when Australian mobile phone enthusiasts will have access to a top-level smartphone supporting the telco’s new 4G network.
In early March Telstra confirmed it will shortly be launching two handsets in HTC’s new flagship One line-up in Australia, firming suspicions that HTC’s new top-end LTE model could be headed to the big T’s flagship Next G 4G mobile network. All of the HTC One handsets run the new Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0) edition of Google’s Android operating system, and offer advanced features over the company’s line of HTC Sensation and Desire handsets previously launched in Australia.
The top-end model of the One range is the HTC One X. The phone features a polycarbonate unibody design and is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 CPU, with a quad-core processor running at 1.5GHz (plus an additional core which HTC says is aimed at saving battery life). To keep the phone’s graphics up to speed, it runs a 12-core NVIDIA graphics processing unit.
The screen of the One X is a 4.7″ touchscreen running at a high definition resolution of 720p and using Corning’s Gorilla Glass material. In countries with 4G (using the Long-Term Evolution standard or LTE), it will also launch in a model supporting LTE and with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU at 1.5GHz, to be known as the One XL. It is this HTC One XL handset which some in the industry suspect Telstra will launch over its 4G network. Telstra is currently the only Australian mobile carrier to have launched 4G services in Australia.
It is possible that Telstra will launch the HTC One XL and also the HTC One S, which features lower specifications than the One X and XL, but is still high-end by smartphone standards. HTC is billing the phone as its slimmest phone yet, at just 7.99mm thick. Telstra previously launched the S version of HTC’s Desire smartphone in mid-2011.
Both Optus and Vodafone have already launched the HTC One X in Australia, but according to a report by Ausdroid this morning, Telstra’s own launch may be further delayed. The publication reported this morning: “Take this with a huge grain of salt, but we’ve been hearing from a few people — and it’s been posted on Telstra’s own community forums — that the HTC One XL for Telstra may have been delayed until the middle of June (next month).”
One poster on Telstra’s CrowdSupport web forum this week stated that “A birdie tells me to expect the One XL on May 28th”, however another poster noted that they had been told by Telstra retail staff that the launch date for the One XL was the end of June, and another wrote that it was virtually confirmed that the launch date would be mid-June. Telstra is advertising the HTC One line through Google Adwords, with interestd customers directed through to the company’s general early registration page.
If the HTC One XL is delayed significantly in Australia, it will leave the nation without a really high-end handset supporting Telstra’s new 4G network for some time. The current 4G handsets available through Telstra — notably the HTC Velocity 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G — are largely seen as re-workings of existing handset offerings in Australia rather than examples of the next-generation of handsets available internationally.
It’s a bad time to be in the market for a high-end smartphone in Australia. I strongly recommend, if you’re looking for a new top-end model, that you wait at least 2-3 months to see what 4G launches HTC, Samsung and perhaps even Apple and Nokia have planned for Australia on Telstra’s 4G network. If you buy too soon, you’ll be kicking yourself in a year when most of your friends have a top-end 4G model ;) It makes absolutely no sense to buy a 3G smartphone in Australia just now, when great 4G offerings are so close.
Image credit: HTC