HTC’s Aria Android powered mobile phone will launch with Optus Mobile in Australia on the telco’s range of consumer and business plans starting at $49/month.
The HTC Aria is the first HTC Android mobile phone to come to Optus Mobile since the company launched the original HTC Dream/Google G1 Android handset that launched the Android mobile operating system in early 2009. A lot has changed in the android mobile phone space since the original G1 and Optus Mobile has been caught out without an up to date HTC Android mobile phone against rivals Telstra with the HTC Desire and HTC Wildfire handsets and Vodafone with the HTC Legend and Google Nexus One (made by HTC for Google), with Vodafone due to launch the HTC Desire HD in October Optus Mobile was found wanting in the Android handset space.
The HTC Aria bridges that gap for Optus Mobile, at least partially, with the phone packing similar internal hardware to the HTC HD Mini or the HTC Legend sold by Vodafone/3 Mobile, but coming up short compared to Telstra’s HTC Desire or Vodafone’s upcoming HTC Desire HD.
Optus Mobile has secured a three month exclusivity deal with HTC to distribute the phone in Australia and will be selling it for $0 upfront on the $49 Optus Cap plan for consumers or the $49 Business Complete Advantage plan for small business customers, both over 24 months (Minimum total cost is $1176).
HTC’s ANZ Sales and Marketing Director Anthony Petts believes the HTC Aria’s size and design are both key differentiators that make it a unique product amongst HTC’s swarm of other mobile handsets for sale in Australia.
“HTC Aria’s seamless wrap-around back cover eliminates sharp edges, making HTC Aria exceptionally enjoyable to carry. By putting people at the centre of everything it does, HTC Aria streamlines and organises all of your communication.”
HTC’s Sense ‘experience’ is included in the Optus HTC Aria, although no timetable has been given for upgrading the phone to the latest Android 2.2 and the just announced HTCsense.com online portal won’t be coming to the HTC Aria. Importantly for business users the HTC Aria includes full Microsoft Exchange email support in addition to work/home user profiles through HTC Sense.