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Three 3G HTC Touch phones roll as Google keeps mum on gPhone

Posted: 04 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3G? smartphone? handset? HSDPA?

Taiwan handset vendor HTC launched new Touch smart phones with high-speed 3G connectivity over HSDPA networks, as Google stayed quiet about the gPhone.

Saying it has sold more than 800,000 of its Touch smart phones in Europe and Asia, HTC upgraded the Touch Dual, adding a keyboard function on top of the touchscreen interface found in the first phone. HTC also unveiled three other new or updated devices, all of which come with high-speed 3G connectivity over HSDPA networks.

The new devices come as the drumbeat of speculation over a Google-branded handset, the so-called "gPhone," reached new volume levels.

HTC CEO Peter Chou pointed out that the sales numbers for the Touch, which debuted in June but isn't yet available in the United States, are comparable to those of the ballyhooed iPhone, which came out a few weeks after the Touch. "This is better than I expected," Chou told Reuters in an interview.

Originally an equipment maker for carriers and other handset vendors, HTC in the last two years has embarked on a major campaign to sell its own branded phones. The company specializes in innovatively designed handsets and mobile computers, many of them aimed at the enterprise market.

Windows Mobile OS
Like most HTC devices, the HTC Touch and the Touch Dual use Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS. The Taiwan manufacturer said in July it expected Q3 sales to grow by a high single-digit percentage rate from $807 million in the same period last year, as its HTC-branded business takes off.

The company debuted three other devices: a 3G version of the ultramobile Shift computer that runs on Windows Vista; the P6500, designed for tough environments such as hospitals and police forces; and the S730, an update to its popular S710 phone that like its predecessor includes a slide-out qwerty keyboard in addition to a traditional mobile-phone keypad.

Without the marketing clout of Apple and Nokia, HTC has sought to make a niche for itself via high performance and cutting-edge design. All of these phones run on high-speed HSDPA networks, in contrast to the iPhone, which runs on AT&T's slower Edge network.

Meanwhile, reports of a gPhone launch intensified as several bloggers including Mark Hopkins of The Rizzn Network claimed that the Google device will cost $400 and that T-Mobile will be the operator worldwide. Google continues to decline comment on the gPhone speculation.

- Richard Martin
EE Times

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