June 24, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
T-Mobile UK and Orange UK have embraced the spirit of competition, separately announcing that each will offer the HTC Hero for free in a matter of weeks.
T-Mobile UK will sell the Hero as the G1 Touch. It will bring the many virtues we mentioned in earlier HTC Hero posts for free with a £40 per month, 2-year contract. The G1 Touch will be available for purchase from mid-July.
Meanwhile, Orange UK will sell the Hero in an exclusive Graphite finish. Their version of the phone will also be free to new customers who sign a 2-year, £39.15 a month agreement. One-upping T-Mobile even further, they promise to have the device available in early July.
T-Mobile UK revealed on its Twitter page last Thursday that its next Android device would be the G1 Touch. The name choice made me wonder if that title was just a rebranding of the HTC Hero, which shares some conceptual design similarities to the G1 / HTC Dream (minus the physical keyboard of course). This announcement confirms that the all-touchscreen Hero is indeed the G1 Touch and will debut in the UK soon.
Orange swooped in with a similar deal and are not finished yet. Director of Devices Francois Mahieu promises that the Hero is “the first of several Android devices you can expect from us this year.”