Telstra Move To House Branded Smartphones & Tablets

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Telstra is set to follow the Woolworths and Coles house brand model with the introduction of several Telstra branded smartphone and tablets, which they claim are “cheaper” than several branded products that the carrier currently sells. In a move that could strip business away from branded tablet and smartphone makers, Telstra has introduced the Telstra Easy Touch 4G prepaid smartphone that is $400 cheaper than a similar 4G smartphone from Samsung.

Telstra said yesterday they are planning to launch a barrage of 4G products on the Australian market and expect to have no fewer than 19 on sale by Christmas. Last year it had just one.

The new line-up was shown-off to Australian media at a relaxed, if noisy, lunch yesterday at Neil Perry’s tasty Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney.

Andrew Vollard the head of mobile at Telstra claims the Telstra house brand range has been developed following extensive research and has features not found in most branded products.

He cited as an example the Telstra Easy Touch 4, a model aimed at first-time smartphone users, particularly the more elderly. It features large icons and on-screen guides on a 4.3-inch screen – and also sports Telstra’s celebrated Blue Tick, certifying it for use in regional and rural areas where many other phones remain silent. It’s available from today at $456.

Star item, from the Big T’s perspective at any rate is the new Telstra-branded Frontier 4G phone, said to be the first 4G smartphone in Australia to be offered on a prepaid basis.

Available from November 27, it has a 4-inch screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, five-megapixel camera with LED flash – and HD Voice technology, claimed to deliver “crisper, cleaner” calls when linked to another HD Voice-enabled phone on the Telstra 4G network. It will go for $299 at your local Telstra store.

The 4G line-up includes two Windows Phone 8 models: Nokia’s recently released Lumia 920 at $696; and HTC’s 8X, due in December at $696.

And there’s the already released 10-inch, 16GB Telstra 4G Tablet, pictured, made by ZTE, which will receive heavy promotion over the festive season. At $480, it’s almost $200 less than a 16GB 4G iPad.

Not 4G, but a natty gadget Telstra is hoping will do well over Christmas, is a prepaid USB dongle for laptops that incorporates a 3G modem and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot gubbins that enables up to five users to share the 3G connection.

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