update This morning, HTC launched the first Android phone to come to Australia: HTC Dream, otherwise known as G1. It will be available from Optus on 16 February, from $59 a month.
Optus, HTC and Google: a partnership (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)
The Sydney launch showcased the hyped phone this
morning, bringing an end to months of speculation on when Australia
would see the Android and which carrier would be the one to offer
as expected, been the first carrier to
jump on the device as the founding partner.
There will be four Optus plans. The cheapest option will be the
"yes" $59 internet cap with $350 included calls and texts as well
as 500MB data. There is an additional handset charge of $51 per
month for a 12-month contract and $15 per month for a 24-month
The next step up is the "yes" $79 internet cap with $550
included calls and unlimited texts as well as 700MB data. The
handset fees for 12- and 24-month contracts are $49 and $13 per
The $99 "timeless" plan only includes unlimited calls and
texts. Users need to pay $14.95 per month for a mobile internet
pack of 1.5GB. Handset fees for 12- and 24-month contracts come out
at $45 and $9 per month respectively.
The most premium plan for the Android phone is the $129
"timeless" internet plan with unlimited calls and texts and 3GB
mobile data included. The additional cost for the handset for 12-
and 24-month contracts are $39 and $3 per month respectively.
Customers won't be able to buy the phone from Optus and migrate
it to other networks, unless they are willing to enter a contract
to do so. "We won't be selling the phone outright being first in
the market," Optus acting MD consumer Michael Smith told gathered
journalists. The phone will, however, not be locked to Optus once
obtained on the contract.
Optus won't be holding its exclusivity for a specified amount
of time, according to HTC Anthony Petts, sales and marketing
director ANZ, with other operators able to bring out the phone.
"It is an open scenario," he said.
Optus' involvement had
long been expected after sources pointed the finger at the carrier and
received documents that suggested the Optus team was
learning up on the Dream.
The handset was released
in the US months ago with carrier
T-Mobile. Some Australians were unable to wait for the device to
come out in Australia, but secured one on eBay.
There have been hints that Vodafone Australia could also be considering
plans to support an Android-based device, although
potentially a later model than the Dream.
The Kogan Agora, which had been set to become the first
Australian Android phone, was
delayed indefinitely after a problem
with the device's screen size.