HTC's Magic smartphone
(click for larger image)
HTC will bolster its support for Google's mobile platform and will bring out at least three Android handsets this year, according to comments from CEO Peter Chou at a Merrill Lynch technology conference.
The smartphone maker was the first to have a commercially available handset when it released the T-Mobile G1 last November. Chou said the G1 has been well-received and has sold more than 1 million units so far.
HTC has already shown off one of its future Android phones when it unveiled the Magic smartphone, which many are considering the "G2." The Android-powered smartphone is very similar to the G1, but it ditches the physical keyboard for a touch-heavy interface. The Magic will come with the "Cupcake" brand of Android development, which adds a virtual QWERTY keyboard, video recording, and other features.
Chou did not elaborate on what the other two Android devices would be, but the company could be a key partner for Google going forward. In the span of a few years, HTC has rocketed from being a relatively obscure player to the world's largest manufacturer of Windows Mobile smartphones thanks to popular handsets like the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro. The company is not close to abandoning Microsoft, though, as Chou said HTC will release about 20 handsets this year, and most will be powered by Windows Mobile.
Most high-end smartphones share a similar set of technical characteristics, which is placing a stronger emphasis on design and user interface. Because of this, Chou said HTC will be looking at acquiring more phone technology and design companies. HTC recently snapped up One & Co to bolster the aesthetics of its handsets.
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