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HTC's Touch Diamond competes with iPhone

Posted: 09 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart phone  3G  touchscreen 

HTC Corp. launched a new version of their smart phone, hoping to lure consumers from rivals such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

Weighing less than 4 ounces and including a 3.2Mpixel camera, the Touch Diamond comes with 4GB of storage, and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies. Talk time is up to 4hrs on a fully charged battery, according to HTC. Its size is roughly 4in x 2in x 0.4in. It also supports carriers' 3G broadband-like networks, and includes features that focus on Web browsing and checking e-mail. The device, which runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, includes a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen that the company claims provides near-print-quality viewing.

The smart phone's Web browser can also zoom and pan Websites. In addition, turning the device sideways automatically rotates the page view from portrait to landscape. HTC has also developed its own YouTube application to watch videos from the popular site. The software also optimises the use of Google's mobile mapping service for accessing street maps and getting traffic data.

3G edge
The Apple iPhone has similar features to the Touch Diamond, but the latter supports faster 3G networks. Apple, however, is expected to add that feature in the next version of its iPhone, which analysts say is likely to ship this year.

The Touch Diamond is attracting attention, because of HTC's success with the original Touch smart phone, which the company launched in early June 2007. The company has sold 3 million units, making it a challenger to rivals such as Apple, which sold 5.7 million iPhones from its release last summer to the end of Q1.

HTC plans to offer the Touch Diamond through all major European carriers in June, and later this quarter in Asia and the Middle East. The device is scheduled to ship in North America and Latin America in the second half of the year.

Brand of its own
As a contract manufacturer for others, HTC is a maker of Windows Mobile smart phones. The company, however, is building its own brand name as last year's profits increased 15 per cent to Rs.3,828.35 crore ($949.4 million) on Rs.15,323.07 crore ($3.8 billion) in revenue, 13 per cent higher than the previous year.

Besides making a Windows smart phone, HTC is taking part in Google's initiative to launch an open platform called Android. HTC CEO Peter Chou told The Wall Street Journal in a telephone interview that the company expects to release an Android-based phone in the second half of this year.

- Antone Gonsalves

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