Vodafone will reportedly be offering the smartphone for free to billpay customers who get a contract for as little as £15 per month, which is a mind-bogglingly cheap HTC Wildfire deal compared to other deals in the smartphone market.
The two deals you can choose from are Vodafone 100 and Vodafone 300. The first offers you 100 minutes and 500 texts a month. The second offers 300 minutes and unlimited texts per month. Both contracts are for two years, however, which may be a little long for some people to sign up for. What doesn’t make sense is why anyone would pick the Vodafone 100 deal over the Vodafone 300, as both give the phone for free, but the 300 gives you a better monthly deal for the same price.
Of course, the Wildfire isn’t as powerful as other smartphones HTC has released, such as the Desire, which has double the processor speed and RAM. The Wildfire has a reasonable 528MHz processor, which is just under the iPhone 3GS’s 600MHz. It has 384MB of RAM compared to the 256MB of the iPhone, and it features a 3.2-inch 240 x 320 QVGA multitouch screen. All the standard trappings of the Android 2.1 OS with HTC Sense overlay are there, but the focus is much more on social networking, like the rival ones in the youth smartphone market. Omio called it a “baby Desire”, which is a fitting description, as it can do pretty much everything a Desire can at a lesser capacity.
It is clear that Vodafone is keen to work with HTC on making the Wildfire a major contender for the youth market, with rivals like the Microsoft Kin and Motorola FlipOut to contend with. The phone itself is unlikely to be overly expensive, which is why Vodafone can offer it completely free, and a small contract means more whippersnappers will be able to afford it. And that means more revenue long term. Indeed, if the rival phones don’t have a similar affordable deal people may be flocking to Vodafone very soon.
It’s funny, of course, because Vodafone hasn’t even said it’s going to stock the phone yet. Someone forgot to tell them.
We asked for confirmation, and Vodafone told TechEye: “We can’t comment on speculation around future additions to our range, but I can tell you we already offer an extensive range of Android devices and are planning to add more to provide great choice for our customers.”
So that’s a yes, then.