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Telstra's landlocked T-Hub tablet phone launches in Australia (update)

Sean Hollister
04.14.10
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A few years back, Telstra -- synonymous in Australia with "communication" -- told Apple it had no business making a cellphone. Look how that turned out. To make a long story short, the company has since repented, and is on the verge of releasing an app-filled touchscreen phone of their own, the Telstra T-Hub, on April 20th. Thing is, this tablet stays plugged into your wall. Marketed as a "family organizer," the T-Hub stores contacts, surfs Facebook, plays YouTube, displays photos, accesses personal bank accounts and even sends text messages like a smartphone, but does it all while connected to a landline telephone jack. While existing Telstra customers can get the device for $300 AUD, the company would of course prefer you get it for $35 with a 24-month service agreement... for a minimum total cost of about $1980 AUD with 2GB data per month. We're not Australian, but compared to US iPhone pricing, that doesn't sound terribly fair.

Update: Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton tells us the T-Hub isn't permanently tethered to your wall. While the phone's base station does connect to a landline telephone jack, the tablet assembly itself is a portable cordless phone with WiFi for web-connected apps. He also adds that the aforementioned 2GB data plan isn't just for the T-Hub, but rather your entire home internet connection.

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