Optus to launch Dell Streak on 1 October

Dell Streak to be exclusively sold through Optus for three months from 1 October

Optus has announced overnight that it will exclusively sell Dell's Streak tablet in Australia for three months beginning 1 October, joining the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the hotly contested tablet market.

The Dell Streak is a 5in tablet that is powered by Google's Android operating system. Its form factor means it sits somewhere between a largish touchscreen handset like the HTC Desire and Apple's iPad tablet.

Unlike the iPad, the Dell Streak also doubles as a smartphone and is the first Android-powered tablet device to launch in Australia. The announcement comes on the back of Samsung revealing its Galaxy Tab tablet device will be available to Australians in November through all major mobile carriers.

Austin R. Bryan, director of Optus digital media, described the Dell Streak as a "tremendous device".

"We're very excited about the Dell Streak coming to Optus and providing such a unique device to our customer base. This is a tremendous device, and we're really looking forward to offering this milestone tablet to our customers," he said.

In addition to phone capabilities, the Dell Streak features integrated Twitter, Facebook and YouTube applications, a 5-megapixel camera that doubles as a video recorder, a front facing VGA camera for video calls as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity. The device has 2GB of internal memory, but also includes a microSD card slot for extra storage and has full access to the Android Market for third party applications.

The Dell Streak will initially ship with the 1.6 version of Google's Android operating system, but according to Optus will be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version (dubbed "Froyo") "by the end of the year."

The Dell Streak will be available for $0 upfront on a $59 Optus contract over 24 months, which includes 2GB of data, unlimited standard national SMS and MMS messages and up to $550 worth of calls. The Optus plan also includes unlimited access to social-networking websites Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Dell Streak will also be sold for $649 outright.

The Dell Streak will be available through Optus stores and online from 1 October.

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Ross Catanzariti

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