10/29/2008 12:16:00 PM
Orange is charging £80 for HTC Touch HD
Orange has secured an exclusive on the HTC Touch HD, but is selling it with a major provision – customers will be expected to fork out £80 for the handset, even on £40-per-month deals.
The operator’s move to charge for the handset follows O2’s strategy to put price tags on its most attractive high-end contract handsets earlier this year.
The Touch HD’s (pictured) major selling point is that it features widescreen and high-definition. HTC has vowed that it has eradicated the software bugs, overheating problems and reports of sluggishness concerning the touch-screen mechanism on the original Touch Diamond.
Orange had stocked up on the HTC Touch when the Apple 3G iPhone was launched in July, and used the device to try and keep Orange customers who were considering defecting to O2 for the iPhone.
The operator is hoping that exclusivity will still bring in sales, despite the phone’s price tag. If successful, it could pave the way for smaller subsidies on top-end contract handsets.
The opportunity for unsubsidised contract handsets comes in the wake of the first iPhone on O2, which commanded huge consumer demand, enabling O2 to charge consumers for the device. Critics have said that no brand other than Apple would be able to sell contract phones in the UK with the same model.
Francois Mahieu, director of devices at Orange, said: ‘We are very pleased to launch this state-of-the-art mobile internet device exclusively on the Orange network.’
The Touch HD is a touch-screen device with a high-resolution 3.8-inch screen, a five-megapixel camera and built-in GPS. It will be sold on 18-month contracts from mid-November.