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HTC One X available free – why isn't the iPhone?

  • HTC One X available free on Optus plans
  • Why is the iPhone 4S still expensive?
  • Find out the best plans for Apple and HTC phones!
Written by Mikaella Clements
02/08/2012

The latest round of plan changes from Optus has revealed some great news for HTC fans – the One X is now free on (most) of their cap plans from the Optus $60 Cap and up. This follows a veritable swarm of providers flocking to the HTC One X and competing to provide it at the best possible price.



Optus are no different, currently offering the HTC One X on most of their plans – the lowest offering is for $44 per month on the Optus $30 Cap, which also gives you $200 worth of phone credit for texts and calls and 200MB of data – ideal for the light user. However, Optus are not alone – there is currently a range of great plans that offer the HTC One X for free or at low prices.

Here are our top three plans for the HTC One X:

HTC ONE X

Optus are also selling a pair of Beats Headphones with the HTC One X for just $49!

  1. FREE on Vodafone's $49 Cap – gives you $550 worth of credit and 1GB of data.
  2. $13 on Dodo's $59.90 Flexi Mobile Plan (bringing you up to $72.90 per month) – gives you unlimited standard calls and 5GB of data – cheapest unlimited plan!
  3. FREE on the aforementioned Optus $60 Cap – gives you $650 worth of credit and 1.5GB of data, along with unlimited SMS, and free calls to other Optus mobiles.


Or take a look at the HTC One X and choose the plan that best suits you yourself!


The One X premiered earlier this year to rave reviews from the smartphone world (and a great review from us!), praised for its great interface, impressive specs, and bonus long-lasting battery life. The One X was declared a game changer, with the best display image quality on the market today – its screen is remarkably sharp, with nicely saturated colours, great contrast, and a bright-not-blinding screen that is easy to use even in direct sunlight.

The phone, as one staff member at Compare Mobile Plans mentioned, simply feels good; solid in your hand without being too heavy, with a smooth and fun control face to play with. And while there are complaints – only 12GB of storage, and a camera whose controls are a little too fiddly – the phone in general seems to have won over most of the smartphone industry.

By many, it was declared HTC's proper challenger: relying on quality rather than quality for once, the One X received the ultimate praise in the smartphone world – it's "as good or better than the iPhone".

Yet despite this, the HTC One X, one of the world's best smartphones, is now available for free on Optus plans, and available for as little as $45 a month. Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S, which has been available on the market for nearly a year now, isn't even free on unlimited plans, where you may already be paying as much as $89 a month just for the cap value.

What is it about the iPhone that keeps providers selling it so high? And why has the One X, just two months after its release, already been brought down so low?

The answers come in two particularly important flavours.

First off: Apple is a company at the top of its game, and HTC is... not.

Apple are currently the world's biggest company. The latest Apple results show the company generating $35 billion of cash, with a total profit of $8.8 billion dollars. And iPhones sold in 2012 are already around the 26 million mark, as opposed to 2011's 20 million – that despite the fact that the iPhone 4S was released in 2011, not 2012.

Meanwhile, HTC's second quarter results were much more depressing. Despite the launch of the One X, the company's consolidated sales for May were down around $1 billion – that's 26.13 per cent less than May a year earlier. While originally HTC had forecast that its revenue in the second quarter would reach $3.5 billion (an increase from $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012), they have since cut this expectation by 13.3% to $3.03 billion.

They will publish their quarterly results this Friday, and two brokerages have already warned of a weak outcome for HTC.

Aaron Jeng, an analyst for Japan's Nomura Holdings Inc., said: "HTC seems to be losing share in the high-end smartphone space despite launching its One X flagship model both in China and the US." It's not only Australia that has seen the HTC One X price drop dramatically, as prices have been cut dramatically in both China and the US.

The HTC One X simply hasn't been selling well enough to rescue the brand from its overall fall – and it's unlikely to get easier, as Jeng pointed out: "We expect competition will become tougher over the next 6-9 months, with iPhone 5 hitting the One X, and China-branded low-price dual-core and quad-core phones hitting the 'New Desire'."

None of these price cuts mean that the HTC One X is a bad phone. But there is another reason why the One X, despite being "maybe" better than the iPhone, cannot compare to the iPhone...

The strength of the Apple brand.

Apple took the world by storm with the iPhone, revolutionising singlehandedly what we want in a phone and what we use a phone for. The rest of the industry has been playing catch-up ever since, and while this is not the place to go into the tale of Apple's extraordinary success, it's definitely part of the reason why, a year later, customers are still willing to pay upwards of $55 a month for the iPhone 4S 16GB.

The cheapest iPhone plan available at the moment is on the $30 Optus Cap, and that's still nearly $10 a month more than you'll be paying for the newer, better HTC One X. Why is it that providers will keep iPhone prices this high, simply refusing to give them away for free on anything less than Vodafone's $79 Cap?

Simply put: it's because you'll buy them anyway. Customers are drawn to the iPhone, and their saturation and control within the smartphone marketplace is astounding. Once again, we repeat: 26 million iPhones have already been sold this year. People buy iPhones because some part of us, when we hear the word "smartphone", translates it to "iPhone". iPhones have rightly deserved most of the praise that they've gotten, but the result is that they are, for one range of phones, wildly popular. People are willing to pay more for them, even in the lead up to a new iPhone 5, when the old model's price should, if anything, be decreasing, not increasing as it has on certain plans.

However, HTC is not the blameless lonely child trying desperately to make an impact in the shadow of a talented older sibling: in fact, HTC have in some way doomed themselves. Unlike Samsung, who tried to counter the iPhone dominance with their own new and original designs, like the Galaxy Note, for a long time HTC's business model seemed to be "quantity is quality", as they swamped the market with a never ending range of nigh-identical budget range smartphones that failed to make an impact or be anything other than a person's afterthought.

The One X is undeniably a great phone, but it may be too little too late. Only time will tell whether HTC continues to follow up the One X with more thought out, well designed phones that can help them come back from the edge – for now, though, take advantage of HTC's lack of forethought and pick up a One X at a great price by calling any of the following providers:

Optus: 1300 302 412
Dodo: 1300 301 550
Vodafone: 1300 850 518

If you're in the market to get an iPhone, at this juncture, our honest advice is: don't.

Instead wait a month, when the iPhone 5 is expected to premiere. Then, you can either pick up the iPhone 5 and enjoy a brand new phone that's sure to be at the peak of the market's offerings of smartphones – click here for the latest round-up of rumours on what we'll get with the iPhone 5 – or watch all the iPhone 4S prices drop correspondingly so that you can pick up an older model at the best price. iPhone prices have actually risen in the last month, in what we can only imagine is a last minute attempt to get customers to sign up on expensive 24 month contracts before all the providers are forced to slash their iPhone 4S prices in an effort to 1) keep people buying them even with the release of the iPhone 5, and 2) make sure that they still offer competitive plans amongst themselves.

If there can ever be considered a "wrong" time to buy an iPhone, that's now, as prices are higher than the iPhone – which we love! – is actually worth. Reign in your impatience and wait just a little while longer with your current phone – or give us a call on 1300 850 518 to discuss what the best mobile phones and plans in the market currently are.

Or if you're out of contract and want to get away from your current provider without being signed up on a new long contract just before the iPhone premieres, check out Amaysim for great month-to-month SIM only plans. We particularly recommend the Amaysim Unlimited SIM – just $39.90 a month gets you unlimited calls and text messages within Australia, and 4GB of data, on a 0-month contract with Amaysim's famed friendly and Australian based customer service. Call Amaysim to find out more or sign up today on 1300 791 895.

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