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12/11/2007
10:56 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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HTC: The Little Smartphone Maker That Could

Begin Love Fest. HTC deserves some kudos. This innovative maker of Windows Mobile smartphones from Taiwan saw its best month ever in November thanks, in part, to a smartphone called the Touch. It also is the first OEM to announce it will make Android handsets for Google. HTC is on a roll, folks.

Begin Love Fest. HTC deserves some kudos. This innovative maker of Windows Mobile smartphones from Taiwan saw its best month ever in November thanks, in part, to a smartphone called the Touch. It also is the first OEM to announce it will make Android handsets for Google. HTC is on a roll, folks.Things are really looking up for HTC. It posted sales of $14.5 million in November, up from $10.6 million in November 2006. Simple math tells us that's a whopping 33% jump in sales. HTC also is doing better for the year, swelling 9% to $107 million through November. Not bad at all.

HTC has brought numerous Windows Mobile 6 handsets to market this year, notably the Touch and Shadow.

The Touch was introduced worldwide back in May, and featured a touch screen user interface and speedy HSDPA 3G. HTC bowed a newer version with GPS on board this fall, as well as a CDMA version for Sprint in the United States. This smartphone is selling just as well as a certain product from Apple, and it received zero hype in the media. Where Apple's phone has been heralded in every publication known to man, the HTC Touch is the little smartphone that could. It is selling well despite the fact that no one (except for maybe me) is really talking about it.

The Shadow is another innovative handset. It's a slider that also uses WinMo6 and is compact and hosts a good feature list.

What sets these two handsets apart is that HTC worked with its partners to create brand new user interface overlays that sit on top of the basic Windows Mobile UI. Called Touch for the Touch, and Neo for the Shadow, these vastly improve the usability of Windows Mobile (which is a whole different story). This has led to the phones' burgeoning popularity.

On top of the success of its smartphones, HTC already is looking ahead, and has signed up for Google's Open Handset Alliance. It also said it will make two or three Android-based handsets next year.

If HTC keeps up this pace, 2007 will undoubtedly be a banner year. I am already looking forward to what HTC will do in 2008.

End Love Fest.

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