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Tuesday, 15 March 2011 11:31

Telstra announces its first $99 smartphone


With smartphone popularity on the rise, Telstra is increasing the included data and credit on some of its most popular Prepaid offers and is launching its cheapest ever Android-powered smartphone.

Telstra Consumer Executive Director, Ms Rebekah O'Flaherty said the nation's love affair with smartphones had gone Prepaid, prompting Telstra to double data allowances across its Cap+ and Weekend+ offers, at no additional cost.

'These are our most competitive Prepaid offers ever. 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,' Ms O'Flaherty said.

To compliment the increased inclusions, Telstra is launching the Telstra Smart-Touch - the telco's first-ever Android-powered smartphone to come in at under $100.

'The Smart-Touch is an affordable way for our Prepaid customers to access and enjoy features like mobile web-browsing, social networking and email.

'Combining great looks, integrated Google services like Gmail and Google Maps and fun multimedia features, customers can also personalise the Smart-Touch by selecting from thousands of apps from the Android Market - including games, music and fitness apps," Ms O'Flaherty said.

Despite its $99 price tag, the Smart-Touch boasts big features including Android 2.1 operating software, Wi-Fi, GPS for navigation and a 3.2 megapixel camera. It arrives on Tuesday 22 March.

Telstra Smart Touch

'We think our new pricing and the introduction of the new Telstra Smart-Touch will make owning a smartphone and enjoying Australia's largest and fastest mobile network more affordable than ever,' Ms O'Flaherty said.

Smartphones are enjoying a new level of popularity, thanks largely to Apple's iPhone.

iPhone 5 is largely expected to be on the horizon, although its price point will be significantly higher than Telstra's $99 offering.

Pricing doesn't seem to have affected the popularity of smartphones in general, although the Telstra Smart-Touch will mean that students and low-income earners now have access to Android 2.1, which hasn't been available on handsets at this price until now.

The move will likely sound the death knell for non 'smart' phones, as price was seemingly the only barrier preventing an even higher uptake rate.

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