A new trend appears to be emerging with mobile device manufacturers partnering with Internet storage providers to provide free online storage to people who buy their devices. HP partnered with Box.net to provide 50 GB of free storage to Touchpad owners, and Box.net is currently providing a similar offer to iOS users who down their iOS app. Today HTC announced that they are providing 5 GB of free storage from Dropbox to all users of their Android devices.
HTC made the announcement via their accounts on Facebook and Twitter. The Dropbox app will come pre-installed on HTC Android devices, and it will include the 5 GB of storage. My understanding is that people who already own an HTC device can also get the 5 GB of free storage by installing the Dropbox app from the Android Market, however, when I tested re-installing Dropbox on my Nexus One, I did not see an increase in storage.
The offer by Dropbox and HTC obviously does not provide as much storage as Box.net is currently providing to iOS users, however in my experience more third party apps integrate with Dropbox than Box.net and it’s Windows and Mac apps provide automatic synchronization. For example, I have picplz configured to automatically store pictures to my Dropbox account, and all of the pictures with picplz automatically appear on all of my Windows and Mac computers in my home office.
Anyone can sign up for Dropbox to get 2 GB of free storage, and Dropbox apps are available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices.