By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: After doing their best impersonation of a beguiling Benji Marshall last week to avoid the question, Telstra has today revealed its consumer and business plans for the HTC HD7 smartphone, which runs off WinMo7.

Consumers can pick up the phone on the magnificently named Freedom Connect Plan, which costs $76 per month, $17 of which is a handset repayment 'option'. Consumers who would prefer not to take up this option can buy the phone outright for RRP $768

This plan is over 24 months, for a total minimum payment of $1,824. Included in the plan is $550 worth of calls and MMSes to standard Australian numbers (excluding overseas), unlimited text messages to standard numbers (excluding overseas) and 1.5GB of data (excluding overseas).

Other consumer plans in the Freedom Connect range include $91 per month (minimum spend: $2,184), $106 per month ($2,544) and $131 per month ($3,144). As these prices increase, so too does the consumer’s call, text and data allowance. Please note that we have integrated the handset repayment cost into these prices.

Business consumers can buy the phone for $0 upfront on a $79 plan over 24 months (minimum cost $1,896). This includes $800 worth of standard calls and texts in Australia and 2GB of data. Although not made explicitly clear, understands that these allowances are monthly, rather than annually or biannually.


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The decision by Telstra to delay the pricing announcement on this handset appeared to be nothing more than a cynical attempt to receive more press coverage for its new flagship WinMo7 handset. Of course, it has been a success, with and countless other titles all filing stories today in order to make sure their readerships are informed.


It is worth reminding both Telstra and HTC that this phone is not an iPhone, and whilst detests the selfish PR strategy Apple employs in Australia, at least Apple only releases one phone per year, and that phone is incredibly popular.


HTC releases countless phones every year, if it and its Telco partners decide this double dipping is the way forward, I anticipate these brands receiving less coverage rather than more.
When this theory was put to Telstra, we received the following response:


"No, [this delay was] not designed to get a second story," replied Telstra public affairs spokesperson Peter Symons. "[It] was merely timing."


"We hadn’t announced either of these plan types as of Wednesday [the day of the launch]. We were still a few days away from being able to support customer enquiries (we were still completing staff training and preparing supporting marketing materials). Ideally, we would have had this detail…on Wednesday."