Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Posts Tagged ‘HTC

Google is planning to launch a branded smartphone that will bypass mobile operators and compete with handset vendors running its own Android platform, reported TheStreet yesterday citing an analyst source. Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, who claims to have talked to Google’s design partners about the plan, says the device will be sold via retailers rather than operators. By bypassing the operators, Google is aiming to offer a device that lets users determine the functions. The rumoured “unlocked, low-cost, Web-friendly touchscreen device” is also likely to undercut the Android phones being developed by the likes of Motorola, the report says. “It’s a bit of a departure from Google’s strategy, but I think the speculation is valid,” says Michael Cote of the Cote Collaborative.

Kumar predicts that the device could be launched by year-end, though others think this timeframe is optimistic. He adds that the device is likely to be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform but it is unclear who will actually build the device. The report noted that Google already has plans with computer-maker Quanta to build its own netbooks that will run on a Linux-based Google Chrome operating system (OS) and be available next summer. But TheStreet says that Taiwan’s HTC is the most likely vendor to build Google its own Android phone. HTC was an early supporter of the Android platform and already has four Android phones available in the marketplace. Neither Google, HTC nor Quanta were available to comment. A report this week by AdMob claims that Android has secured a 7 percent share of the smartphone OS market since launching a year ago.

Giving a firm release date to one of the most anticipated new mobile devices to run on the Android operating system, from Google Inc.(GOOG), Amazon’s United Kingdom site is listing the HTC Hero for pre-ordering. The smartphone will begin shipping on July 15; it’s expected to become available in the U.S. later this year.

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Based on the mobile O.S. developed by Google, the Hero also features HTC Sense, the Taiwanese company’s new user-interface, which offers a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen along with gesture controls and customizable widgets and icons that can be quickly launched from the home screen. If you have missed on the promises, you could check them out at the video link in youtube.

The Hero, which will be offered by the U.K. through Orange and T-Mobile, will also be sold in an unlocked version that’s not tied to a single carrier. The dual-band cellular/WiFi device will cost $712 with no carrier contract.

The Hero also includes support for Adobe Flash Web-content software, something the iPhone, from Apple(AAPL), lacks.

The Hero is the third Android-based device to hit the market. Several other manufacturers are hurrying to get Android mobile devices to market before the Christmas gift season this year.

g3_htc_hero_1The blog Code Android claims that HTC’s third Android-based device – dubbed the G3 or Hero (pictured) – will be released in third-quarter 2009. The device will reportedly look very similar to the HTC Magic in terms of form factor, but does not feature a trackball.

source: GSMA Mobile Business Briefing

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palm_pre1Palm is expected to launch (through Sprint Nextel) its “Pre” smartphone before June in a market which is already seen flurry of choices.Features boasted by “Pre” put it in direct competition to Apple’s iPhone, Research In Motion’s Storm, HTC’s G1 and Touch series, Samsung’s Omnia and Nokia’s latest 5800 etc.

Question to ask is “do consumer need another choice in this segment”? Many analysts off late have linked Palm’s survival to success/ failure of “Pre”. What is going to be the killer feature that going to make “Pre” a wanted device? Will a multitouch screen (iPhone is the only other who offers true multitouch) in combination with Palm’s innovative webOS operating system packs enough punch for the mass? I strongly feel that Palm is just too late in the segment and has missed the boat.

In a recently published analysis, isuppli estimated that it would cost Palm about $170 to make each Pre. How does it fare against iPhone & G1? This undercuts the iPhone, at $174, and even the G1, at a modest $144. Target price, as suggested by the report, to Sprint is likely to be US$300. Which is likely to be translated in to consumer spending of about US$200 (after operator’s subsidy) for the device.

Will someone spend that moeny in this recession (when the focus is more on basic necessity) to get their hands on (more or-less) just another 3G, multitouch, Wi-Fi-enabled phone, released almost a year after its closest equivalent?

Well, I’m not very convinced. At leaset not at the moment.