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Pre-paid Android for $99: Telstra launches its own smartphone

Pre-paid Android for $99: Telstra launches its own smartphone

Telstra-branded Android phone follows Telstra-branded Android tablet

Telstra's new pre-paid plans (March 2011)

Telstra's new pre-paid plans (March 2011)

Telstra has broken ranks with its handset suppliers and released a Telstra-branded Android smartphone for the sum of $99, claiming it to be the cheapest phone of its type in Australia.

The new Telstra Smart-Touch debuts with a new range of pre-paid deals, and is the telco’s first Android-powered handset to break the $100 price barrier.

The 2.8-inch Smart-Touch features Android 2.1, Wi-Fi, GPS, FM radio and a 3.2 mega pixel camera. It will be availalbe in retail stores on 22 March.

Telstra consumer executive director, Rebekah O’Flaherty, said Australia’s love affair with smartphones has “gone pre-paid”, prompting Telstra to double data allowances across its Cap+ and Weekend+ offers, at no additional cost.

“These are our most competitive pre-paid offers ever,” O’Flaherty said. “For customers on our new $50 Weekend+ offer, this means free standard national talk and text every weekend, along with $400 total value – a 300 per cent increase on the previous allowance – and 2GB of data, which is 20 times higher than before.”

Last year, Telstra was the first local carrier to offer a pre-paid Android handset in the HTC Wildfire. The introductory price was $349.

A few months later it launched the Android-powered T-Touch Tab for $299.

“The Smart-Touch is an affordable way for our pre-paid customers to access and enjoy features like mobile web-browsing, social networking and email,” O’Flaherty said.

Telstra has increased the value of its pre-paid offers all around with more call credits and data allowances (see image).

Recharge amounts range from $30 to $100 offering data allowances from 400MB to 4GB, respectively.

If customers recharge within 30 days, any unused recharge credit automatically rolls over for another 30 days.

Available colours for the Smart-Touch are “Midnight” and “Grape”.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

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