Dropbox, HTC Offer 5GB of Free Cloud Storage

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It’s true—Dropbox and HTC are teaming up to give users 5GB of free space. Starting now, anyone running Sense 3.5 will get an additional 3GB of space in their Dropbox account, on top of the free 2GB that everyone gets when signing up.

Of course, the number of people who are actually using Sense 3.5 is limited; it currently only runs on the HTC Rhyme, sold by Verizon. Soon it’ll also run on the HTC Sensation XL, available next month in Europe, according to HTC Global Communications Manager Jeff Gordon. As for when owners of older HTC handsets can get their hands on some sweet, sweet cloud-based digital storage action, they’ll have to wait until the company announces which other phones will eventually get the Sense 3.5 upgrade.

(MORE: Encryption: How to Keep Secret Files in the Cloud)

You could be seeing Android’s answer to Apple’s iCloud, a way for users to share and sync information with their home computers and tablets, increasingly important as more and more people use their phones to take video and photos at higher resolutions.

What does Dropbox get out of all this? The hope is that once users get hooked on 5GB of storage, they’ll want to upgrade to the 50GB ($9.99/month) and 100GB ($19.99/month) plans. While the 5GB trial was initially rumored to last only 12 months, Dropbox told me that the amount of time that users will get the upgrade hasn’t been determined yet.

Dropbox will come preinstalled on all new HTC phones; those with older phones can always download the app for free. It’ll be interesting to see how Dropbox’s partnership will play out with Android overall, especially considering the rumored coming of Google Drive, which would compete directly with both Dropbox and iCloud.

MORE: HTC Rhyme Review: Hardware, pH-Balanced