New HTC users will get a free taste of expanded Dropbox cloud storage as part of a new partnership between the two companies. The handset maker confirmed today to Pocket-lint that it is partnering with Dropbox to offer 3 GB of free storage to users of Sense 3.5, HTC’s newest user interface software that appears on the new HTC Rhyme and HTC Sensation XE.
The 3 GB of extra storage is in addition to the standard and free 2 GB that Dropbox offers users, so new HTC owners can access a total of 5 GB of free cloud storage. That will give HTC customers a lot of extra space to store and sync photos, videos, music and files.
It doesn’t look like the offer will extend to Windows Phone 7 (s msft) devices by HTC. An HTC representative told Pocket-lint that Microsoft has its own integrated storage service in SkyDrive, which offers 25 GB of free capacity. And it’s unclear if older HTC devices will get the Dropbox extra storage.
But the news shows that handset makers are going to be tied to some kind of storage service, whether it’s in-house like Microsoft and Apple (s aapl), with its iCloud, or some third-party external service. HP (s hpq) partnered with Box.net to offer 50 GB of free storage, while Asus went with its own WebStorage service. As we increasingly rely on our handsets and tablets for more computing needs, it makes sense for them to get more cloud storage options.
Partnerships like the one between HTC and Dropbox are good for both, allowing HTC to entice users with more capacity while Dropbox can reach out to HTC users and give them more reasons to try the service. With Dropbox increasingly competing against Microsoft and Apple — who can package cloud storage with their phones — and other cloud services like Amazon’s(s amzn), it makes sense to strike deals with any handset makers that don’t have built-in cloud storage options.