Vodafone keeps HTC Desire HD to itself

Vodafone Hutchison Australia last night gave several indications it wasn't willing to let its flagship HTC Desire HD handset be used on other carriers' networks, confirming it would have exclusive Australian distribution "forever" and that it would not offer an outright purchase price for the device.

HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HD
(Credit: HTC)

The Desire HD is being billed as the "big brother" to the popular HTC Desire handset, which launched exclusively on Telstra's Next G network in April this year to great popularity. The launch of the high-end handset is credited in the mobile industry with vaulting Google's Android operating system to a level where it is now rivalling Apple's iPhone series in terms of popularity down under.

VHA general manager of Devices and Pricing Ross Parker was asked at a ritzy launch at the Astral Bar at Sydney's Star City Casino last night whether VHA would hold the exclusivity on the handset "forever, forever". Parker confirmed the arrangement.

In addition, the VHA executive confirmed that there would be no immediate pricing plan where customers could buy the handset outright, meaning those who want the Desire HD will need to sign up to a monthly contract with VHA.

"We want to sell this to Vodafone customers," he said. VHA will launch the handset for zero dollars upfront on a $59 monthly plan, which constitutes a special $10 monthly discount.

In general, Parker said he expected the HTC Desire HD to rival Apple's iPhone 4, which launched several months ago, in terms of its popularity with customers.

"Within our customer base, the feedback we've had, this is the most anticipated product we've seen over the past 12 months," he told journalists. "I would certainly expect, for our existing customers, that this would be challenging the popularity of the iPhone 4."

Parker also praised Taiwan-based HTC in general, stating it was currently "the manufacturer which is delivering the best experience for the customer" on the Android platform.

"We're pleased to see the partnership growing," he said of the relationship between HTC and VHA. The executive noted that the HTC Legend, which has reduced specifications compared with the Desire and Desire HD, had been selling "tremendously well" for VHA. "Everyone's been looking forward to that next step," he said.

The VHA executive said he personally had been using the Desire HD for "a couple of months now", describing it as the best device he had ever used. He also noted that VHA expected the handset to be its number one product over the Christmas period. In general, Parker said VHA also saw Android as representing "a massive opportunity" at the moment, pointing out Google's baby was currently outselling the line-ups offered by both Apple and Research In Motion in the United States market.

Android-based handsets are offered by a number of manufacturers, such as HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and so on, while large manufacturers such as Apple, RIM and Nokia have preferred to focus on their own mobile operating systems.

Via ZDNet.com.au

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sold posted a comment   

i'd rather have the standard desire than switch to vodafone, oh yeah!


Bad move HTC posted a comment   

Seeing how the Desire was a Telstra exclusive, how many Vodafone customers are going to notice the improved performance and refinement of the HD especially with the VF's flaky network? Does anyone from HTC even evaluate mobile networks before signing off on these exclusive deals. Great shame HTC. Pass. Next smart phone please.


lackingdesire posted a comment   

Such a sad day for HTC to lock in with such a poor network.

We had VF at work for about 4 weeks before we told them thanks but no thanks. Lots of network un-availability in the metro area, giving us phones that were not 100% compatible with thier network hence the features we used didnt work. A friend of mine is on VF and her coverage latley in metro perth is flakey at the best of times.


Beentheredonethat posted a comment   

Don't rush in to purchasing online or outright from overseas just yet, I did this with my HTC Hero which developed some operating problems whilst less than 12mths old and was forced to send it back overseas (at my own expense) to have it repaired under warranty as I was told it had overseas software and could not be repaired locally. That cost the better part of $200 plus I had to argue with HTC Hong Kong (Closest global repairer) to waiver a $50 fee just to look at it even though it was still under warranty!! Buyer Beware I say.


question posted a comment   

Being a total nub, I need to ask..

If I bought this phone outright and unlocked from overseas, will there be any issues if I was to plug a Telstra Sim into the HD, regarding the calling and data use features or will it just be the same as if i was using my iPhone?


n00blet posted a reply   

see comments below mate.

As far as I can tell if you buy from o/s it will work on a SIM by any Australian carrier but not on Telstras NextGen when you are in rural areas.

Can anyone confirm?


Mike posted a reply   

Make sure the phone is GSM. In this case, the Desire HD is indeed GSM. Also make sure the band frequencies match what the carrier offers. If the phone does not have the carrier's band frequencies the phone will not work.


eby posted a comment   

yeah good on them. they can keep it for all eternity. HTC won't then sell as many. so who loses? i am heading for the HD 7. if they are silly enough to lock to any network, i'd just buy from overseas lik ei have always done with my other HTCs. toushe!


unlocked posted a reply   

My thoughts exactally, I hope the stories about nexus 2 are correct I want the choice, without the firmware update delays and crap caused by all the carrier crap

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