A phone battle between HTC and rival Samsung has just spilled over into retailers.
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Want to get your paws on the new HTC next gen Android’s? Well you’ll have to go to Telstra unless you can hold out til September where it will head to other carriers.
HTC’s two latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread handsets, available from next month are to be sold on the Telstra network on a three-month exclusive, as well as JB Hi Fi and Fonezone dealers only, it was confirmed today.
However, it now seems Telstra has the HTC’s “exclusive” in terms of network and retail for Desire S and Wildfire S, with JB Hi Fi and Fonezone the only other retailers who will offer the devices for sale, for now.
But both dealers runs off Telstra Next G network only, so in effect all HTC sales are going back through Telstra.
This marks a distinct departure from HTC previous distribution strategy for the Hero, Wildfire and Incredible devices, which went to all mass retailers including Harvey Norman, when released last year.
“The two HTC devices are exclusive to Telstra and are available from partners including JB Hi-Fi and Fonezone,” a HTC spokesperson confirmed today.
And it’s not just Desire and Wildfire S phones that this new struggle for exclusivity has fell prey to.
One of Desire S biggest rivals, the Samsung Galaxy II revealed in Sydney last night has been nabbed for exclusive sale by Telstra rival Optus and was available for pre order on its website this week, coupled with a free dock for the first 200 takers.
However, Telstra have managed to grab hold of the Galaxy but not until July, it announced yesterday and phone is to be released “across all major networks and retailers” in Australia, Samsung have also confirmed.
“We’re delighted to confirm that Telstra will bring the powerful Samsung GALAXY S II smartphone to our customers in July,” Warwick Bray, Executive Director, Telstra Mobile said in a statement prior to last nights launch.
“Running on the Telstra’s Next G network, the GALAXY S II will set new benchmarks for mobile handset internet speeds in Australia. ” The telco however, failed to mention when exactly in Jul, saying pricing a little closer to launch.
However, it looks like Optus will bask in the initial Galaxy II glory for around two months as it will kick off sale of the device on June 1st, setting fans back $5 per month on a $59 cap or else for free on $79 plan. And two other options on a ‘timeless extreme’ plan are also on offer.
HTC Desire is being offered on an almost identical plan by Telstra.
So, it appears the score is Telstra 1, Optus 1. Both Android mobiles should do well in the market with the Samsung Galaxy II update eagerly awaited for some time and the original model experienced massive success here.
The high powered Galaxy update, running on Android Gingerbread 2.3 and weighing in at 116g boasts a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and Super AMOLED Plus 4.3 inch touchscreen and 8Mp camera.
HTC phone also running on Gingerbread has just a single 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 3.7 inch WVGA displayscreen and sports an aluminum design and is being marketed as a high end rival to the new Galaxy.
And it appears its not just the telcos battling it out. As a slew of Androids hit the market, its makers are looking to outdo each other in the race to the top of the pile with Taiwanese maker HTC and Korean rival Samsung seeking to outdo each other with swish media events.
HTC held a canap_s and cocktail affair at Justin North’s upmarket Quarter 21 restaurant in Sydney on Wednesday for the Desire S and Wildfire S – and held MasterChef-style cooking classes (while non-foodies watched the State of Origin Rugby League clash.)
Samsung went one further the following night and wined and dined guests at an overnight event in the Hilton Hotel in the city.