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HTC + Android = Success

HTC, the Taiwanese mobile phone vendor, is bucking the current trend of falling profits and massive job losses so prevalent in the technology sector. Some speculate that is due to HTC’s decision to move into the Android market. HTC actually increased its workforce size.

Prior to developing the now hugely popular Google G1, the world’s first Android-powered handset, HTC had released a range of handsets which although technically impressive, ran a relatively clunky operating system in the form of Windows Mobile. Despite attempts to improve the user experience with the introduction of TouchFLO, their own user interface which ran on top of Windows Mobile, reviews were mixed and HTC just couldn’t seem to match Apple’s iPhone for overall appeal.

All of that changed with their decision to use the Android platform. The G1 handset was released in October 2008 as a T-Mobile exclusive with a sales forecast of 1 million units by December. By the end of the first month, pre-order sales in the US alone had reached 1.5 million. Several months on, and according T-Mobile UK, the G1 now accounts for 20% of all contract sales.

In the run-up to this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, HTC was still the only manufacturer to have actually launched an Android phone with a network provider, and speculation was rife that many manufacturers were set to announce their own Android phones. For the most part MWC was a let down in this regard with the exception of HTC who announced their partnership with Vodafone to launch their second Android phone, the HTC Magic. Although similar to the G1, the Magic is a pure touchscreen phone as it’s lost the G1’s QWERTY keyboard for a much sleeker and lighter design. According to the specifications, battery life (a known issue with the G1) is also improved with a 1340 mAh battery versus the G1’s 1150 mAh. If the G1 is anything to go by, the HTC Magic is certain to be one of the top Android phones on the market.

2009 is definitely going to be the year of the Android phone as manufacturers like LG and Samsung have indicated that they will be releasing phones on the platform this year. There may even be some surprises in the form of phones from Dell and Acer but a lot of that is speculation at this stage. Whatever the case, HTC continues to be the company to watch as industry experts expect another 4 Android phones from them this year. While there may not be that much to choose from right now, in a few months we’ll have more for choice.

Speaking of choice, I am hoping for more of a choice when it comes to Google phone accessories, such as a Google phone plastic case and G1 phone pouches that actually are custom made for the Google phone. It seems as soon as a new mobile phone hits the market a slew of “one size fits all” generic mobile phone accessories will suddenly appear, but will be labeled as G1 accessories, for example. These same items are also marketed as iPhone accessories, you get the picture….. Perhaps HTC could expand into custom fit mobile phone cases that really fit the phone you have?


March 2, 2009 Posted by | Cell Phones | , | Leave a comment