Jumat, 16 Mei 2008

Apples iPhone got new competition Tuesday as HTC unveiled the 3G Touch Diamond. The new smartphone will be HTCs flagship model as it vies to grab market share from touchscreen competitors.

The Touch Diamond boasts a compact size, Internet connectivity and a 3D touch interface called TouchFLO 3D. HTC hopes the phone will set a new benchmark for sophistication that shapes consumer expectations for how a phone can be used.

"Today we mark a new era in mobile-phone evolution, an era where beauty and size integrate with uncompromising innovation at broadband speeds," said Peter Chou, HTC president and CEO. "The HTC Touch Diamond will make browsing the Web and using Web-enabled applications just as practical and easy to use as making calls."


The TouchFLO 3D interface provides animated access to people, messaging, e-mail, photos, music, weather and more, according to the company. In addition, HTC is introducing a new touch-sensitive control for interacting with Touch Diamond.

The phone can provide broadband-like speeds with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA wireless connectivity. HTC is providing a customized Web browser that aims to make viewing and navigating Web sites more like the desktop experience, with added features like zooming and panning with one hand.

Like the iPhone, turning the device sideways automatically rotates the Web page view from portrait to landscape. The Touch Diamond also includes an HTC-developed YouTube application for watching a variety of user-generated videos, and it uses Google Maps for mapping and traffic data.

HTC said the 2.8-inch display provides near-print-quality viewing of Web pages and photographs, and the built-in camera includes an optical auto-focus lens for clear photos. The phone offers 4GB of internal storage with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options. The software runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.


The Touch Diamond does offer a tremendous feature list, said Avi Greengart, a wireless analyst for Current Analysis, but for a direct comparison between the iPhone and the Touch Diamond, you have to consider the brand.

"HTCs just starting to build out its brand. It just launched its first television advertising campaign. Until now, at least in the U.S., it has been an OEM that has sold its handsets to the carriers with the carrier branding on them," he said. "These types of halo products are very important for HTC as it moves to forward its own brand. HTC wants consumers to recognize that its been using HTC in many cases and should continue looking for HTC products."

Its not any one feature that sets the Touch Diamond apart in the marketplace, Greengart said. Its the combination of features and the thoughtful focus on software that gives it a chance to compete.

"The market has shifted from a Razr era of physical hardware design to the iPhone age of better software," Greengart said. "HTC has the right idea where it is not just replicating a 12-button phone on a touchscreen. HTC is giving you gestures and allowing you to call contacts by pushing their picture and those sorts of things."

The HTC Touch Diamond will be available across all major European carriers in June. It will be available later this quarter in Asia and the Middle East. The North American and Latin American versions of the Touch Diamond will be available in the second half of 2008.


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