htc

Love it or hate it, you have to acknowledge that HTC's design with the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro with the sharp edges and multifaceted back was a pretty big leap for the Taiwanese manufacturer. (For the record, we still think it's pretty cool, even if a little rough on the hands in its early form.)

And after numerous iterations of sliders, some Palm devices and later with its own rounded Touch line, you have to give HTC props for looking outside its own walls in the design when it brought in San Francisco's One & Co. to lead the charge.

Now One & Co. has been rewarded, being purchased by everyone's favorite smartphone maker. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.

From the news release (read the whole thing after the jump):

"Design is key, it is why you love or hate something," said Horace
Luke, Chief Innovation Officer, HTC Corporation. "Integrating iconic
design into HTC products is an inspiring and dynamic challenge that
requires a unique combination of consumer insight, creativity,
innovation and an appetite to take risks; attributes that embody One &
Co."

We also learn that the two companies began on the Touch Diamond all the way back in 2006. We can only imagine what HTC will have up its sleeves for 2009.

HTC Bolsters Design Credibility With Addition of One & Co

Leader in lifestyle design will be cornerstone of HTC's design
capability and philosophy while continuing as an innovative design consultancy

Taoyuan, Taiwan and SAN FRANCISCO, December 3, 2008 – Furthering its
reputation as a global leader in mobile innovation and design, HTC
Corporation today announced the continuation of its design focus with
the acquisition of San Francisco-based lifestyle design firm One &
Company Design, Inc. (One & Co).  Recognized for its award-winning
work with some of the world's best known and most design-savvy
lifestyle brands, One & Co will maintain its name and client base
while it joins forces with HTC to create an unparalleled force in
global mobile design.

"Design is key, it is why you love or hate something," said Horace
Luke, Chief Innovation Officer, HTC Corporation. "Integrating iconic
design into HTC products is an inspiring and dynamic challenge that
requires a unique combination of consumer insight, creativity,
innovation and an appetite to take risks; attributes that embody One &
Co."

HTC and One & Co first began collaborating in 2006 on the initial
incubation and creation of the HTC Touch Diamond, a highly touted
phone with iconic design that blended unprecedented use of material
and industrial design.

"One & Co is excited to bring our lifestyle, user focused approach to
HTC and we look forward to creating iconic, compelling products
together," said Scott Croyle, partner of One & Co. "Knowing about
HTC's cutting edge technology and proven track record of innovation,
we are excited to collaborate with HTC as a global lifestyle brand."

In addition to its work with HTC, One & Co has broad design experience
in a variety of industries that range from footwear, snowboarding and
skiing, furniture, packaging, houseware, timepieces and more.  One &
Co has been recognized by the design and business communities by
winning numerous BusinessWeek/IDSA IDEA Awards, the Good Design
Awards, CES Innovation Awards, and ID Magazine awards.

About One & Co

Privately held, One & Co is an internationally recognized design
leader that delivers design and engineering services to some of the
world's best known and most admired companies. With expertise in areas
ranging from ethnographic research and design forecasting and
manufacturing technologies, One & Co is committed to bring the highest
level of creative talent to every endeavor and provide an unmatched
attention to detail.

About HTC

Founded in 1997, HTC Corporation (HTC) designs innovative, feature
rich smartphones. Since its establishment, HTC has developed strong
R&D capabilities, pioneered many new designs and product innovations
and launched state-of-the-art PDA Phones and smartphones for mobile
operators and distributors in Europe, the US, and Asia. These machines
are available as HTC devices and as products individually customized
for operator and device partners.

HTC is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile device
market. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under
ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

# # #

The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.

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image credit

Heading back in the time machine, you may recall a problem with some HTC devices lacking hardware video acceleration. Some people got fired up, threatened a law suit and starting furiously hacking their devices.

Fast forward a few months and the issue sort of died down, what with the Touch Pro and Diamond being released world-wide. These devices were promised by HTC to have better video performance and while it some aspects they do, in other areas evidently they fail.

Update: Ok, this is getting long. Join us after the break!

Over at XDA, member branko.savic & DSF did some intense side-by-side testing between the Samsung Omnia, HTC Universal and HTC Touch Pro. The test involved a video file encoded at 480x640 resolution, 25 FPS and 574 kbit/s and benchmarked via CorePlayer. The results were astonishing:

Omnia: Raw framebuffer: 442.74% (!)

Universal: Direct Draw: 165.28%

Touch Pro: QTv display: 152.44%

Furthermore, a bunch of comparisons between a Nokia N82, Dell Axim x51v and Touch Pro/Diamond were demonstrated using Quake 3 Arena. Once again, the stuttering of the new HTC device compared to the quite old Dell Axim is clearly evident.

(Watch x51v) (Watch Touch Pro)

So much ado about nothing or a big disappointment? Seems as if a lot of the graphic improvmenst on the new HTC devices come from a beefier 500+ mhz processor instead of solid direct draw/openGL hardware support. Yet devices like the Samsung Omnia and even Treo 800w both seem to have more advanced video support. What say you?

Big thanks to DSF for the details! You can also find more on this story at wmpoweruser.

Update: Below is a pretty incredible video -- an HTC Toronado clocked at 180MHz (right) puts the smackdown on an HTC Touch Pro clocked at 528MHz. YARLY.

...Now for some caveats: it's always difficult to say for sure why one WinMo device might perform better than another, so don't take any of the above as conclusive evidence that there's an issue here. On the other hand, it definitely looks like it merits more investigation.

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Android Central on the Fuze

The Smartphone Round Robin continues -- over at Android Central, Casey has his hands on the HTC Fuze. As a guy who recently made the switch to Android and who doesn't have much in the way of Windows Mobile experience, his video makes for a good watch.

This being a Round Robin post, comments over at Android Central enter you to with the G1. Comments right here enter you to win the Fuze.

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If watching Dieter's quickie hands-on with the Touch HD didn't have you foaming at the mouth, maybe this will send you over the edge.

The Xperia X1 panels are now "fully functional" on the Touch HD. When we last checked in with the little experiment, there was no way to switch from one panel to another, never mind the stability issues.

But harvsingh over at XDA Developers says he's beaten those problems. He's doing a private beta and hopes to release a cab file soon. Keep an eye on this thread.

Now if only the XDA guys could magically get the Touch HD to be released in the United States. (Or get the Xperia X1a to get out of pre-order status and finally see the light of day!)

And because turnabout is fair play, don't forget that you can run TouchFlo 3D on the Xperia X1.

Via wmpoweruser

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HTC had help with the Diamond

Ever wonder about the stark contrast between HTC's last generation devices and their new Diamond/Touch themed ones? Did you notice how the Diamond's design is "...both modern and clutter-free to allow a strong focus on the innovative interface"?

Turns out there was an open secret that many of us were oblivious: HTC worked with San Francisco design studio One & Co. on the ground-breaking Diamond's aesthetics.

Granted, HTC gets the credit for execution, delivery and that quite popular TouchFlow3D interface. But it never hurts to get the input of some schmancy artists sportin' some black turtlenecks and speaking (inexplicably) with Swedish accents.

So next time you stare down at your purty HTC Diamond and you think to yourself, boy the "...rich materials and diamond-like surfacing convey its power and sophistication", you can thank One & Co.

[Via I.D Magazine; Thanks Darren]

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Alltel Touch Pro dropping this week

We'd originally put out a BOLO on the Alltel Touch Pro for Nov. 14 or so. Obviously that's passed. Now we're being told to look for it this Thursday, Nov. 20.

Still no official word on pricing, though we'd previously been told around $300. But it could well be more, given that Verizon, which as we all know has swallowed up Alltel, reportedly will sell its Touch Pro for $350.

Update: OK, the Alltel Touch Pro's now available for pre-sale at Best Buy for a whopping $999. That better be a typo. Other pricing is as follows:

  • Two-Year Price: $379.99, with a $100.00 mail-in rebate, resulting in a final price of $279.99
  • One-Year Price: $439.99
  • Non-Contract Price: $599.99
  • Prepaid Price: Not available for prepaid

More pics after the jump.

And thanks, Brandon, for the heads up!

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In the Further Adventures of the HTC Touch Pro, Canadian carrier Bell has launched its CDMA version [via] for $239 (Canadian) with the standard three-year contract. (That extra year has something to do with the metric system, we think.)

Actually, you get another $50 off with new service, brining the price of the phone down to a very respectable $189 (again, Canadian), even with the extra 365 days of servitude.

That's all well and good. But here's our thing:

We're all aware that there are two flavors of CDMA Touch Pro floating around out there. Sprint, Alltel and now Bell have one — the Sprint version — and Verizon's on the other side.

The question remains: Why? Until the Verizon Touch Pro is officially released, and that should be pretty soon, the speculation will have to continue.

Hit up any of the above links, and listen to the most recent WM Experts Podcast (about 14:30 in), for our takes the speculated discrepancies, be they processor lawsuit, keyboard style or just your basic Verizon lockdown.

Update: Telus has it for $299ca after rebate. Thanks rileyfreeman!

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Remeber that T8290 that leaked out last month? We don't blame ya if you don't -- it's a device that is slated only for the Russian Market. Still and all, it's a very interesting device as it's the first real Windows Mobile Smartphone we're aware of that packs WiMAX. HTC has announced it will be available on November 26th and, well, you should be jealous.

The MAX 4G sports GSM and EDGE, sure, but it also does WiMAX and VOIP on the Scartel (aka Yota) network. It also sports a massive 480x800 screen, video on demand, WiFi, an accelerometer, 2 cameras, FM Radio, and a 1500mAh battery to power the whole thing. The entire package fits into 113.5mm X 63.1mm X 13.9mm, which makes it a very tall and thick beast, (we've thown a sizeeasy comparison after the break), but nevertheless a powerful one.

Get your full specs and press release after the break. Hey Sprint: we'd love to see this on XOHM. Just saying.

Specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm® ESM7206A™ 528 MHz
  • Platform: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • Memory: ROM: 256MB / RAM: 288MB / Flash: 8 GB
  • Dimensions: 113.5mm X 63.1mm X 13.9mm
  • Weight: 151 grams (with battery)
  • Display: 3.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 480 x 800 WVGA resolution
  • Network: Tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:900/1800/1900 MHz Yota Mobile WiMAX 2,5-2.7 GHz
  • Device Control: TouchFLO™ 3D
  • GPS: Inbuilt GPS
  • Connections: VoIP, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth® 2.0 with EDR, HTC ExtUSB™
  • Main camera: High-resolution with autofocus
  • Second: VGA-camera
  • Additional: Motion G-sensor (automatically rotating picture), Proximity sensor (saving energy while talking due to the switching the display off), FM-radio
  • Audio: Ring tone formats:AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, 40 polyphonic and standard MIDI format 0 and 1 (SMF)/SP MIDI
  • Battery: Li-Pol, 1500 mAh
  • Talk time: GSM: up to 420 minutes, VoIP: up to 230 minutes
  • Standby time: GSM: up to 350 hours, VoIP: up to 50 hours
  • AC Adapter: Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz, DC output: 5V and 1A

Press Release

SCARTEL AND HTC LAUNCH WORLD’S FIRST INTEGRATED GSM/WIMAX HANDSET

Designed and Optimized for the Russian market, HTC MAX 4Gä Will Be Available in Russia on November 26th

Moscow, Russia – November 12, 2008 – Scartel (brand Yota), Russian provider of Mobile WiMAX, and HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile phone innovation and design, today announced the HTC MAX 4G, the world’s first integrated GSM/WiMAX handset. Supported by a broad range of services based on Yota’s Mobile WiMAX network,   the HTC MAX 4G delivers a rich multimedia and high quality telephony experience in a sleek and powerful touch screen handset. 

“Yota was established to provide a unique set of mobile communication services to millions of people in Russia and today we have launched the first device and services to realise its full potential,” said Denis Sverdlov, General Director of Yota’s parent company, Scartel LLC (brand Yota). “We really believe that these innovative services, high-speed Internet and stylish HTC MAX 4G will completely change the communications industry, just as the introduction of cellular communications did many years ago.”  

HTC MAX 4G: A New World of Entertainment

The Yota Mobile WiMAX network offers high-speed wireless Internet access that opens a new realm of entertainment and communication possibilities. The basic Yota Home package will provide subscribers with instant access to online games, maps, messaging and file exchange applications while on the move. In addition, the high-capacity Mobile WiMAX network with traffic prioritisation algorithms, allows online films, video and TV programmes to be viewed on the large WVGA screen.

Thanks to mobile WiMAX, high-quality multimedia entertainment is no longer limited.. With Yota Video, a full video on demand (VOD) service, users can watch their favourite movies and videos from their personal Yota catalogue anytime, anywhere.

Broadcasting 14 free channels at launch and 23 channels by the end of 2008, Yota TV introduces a powerful mobile television experience. The vibrant, 3.8 inch 800x480 screen of the HTC MAX 4G can display up to nine TV channels simultaneously, allowing quick and easy channel surfing and programme selection. Thanks to the device’s TV-out capability, users can also watch content on the big screen, putting the HTC MAX 4G at the very heart of the mobile entertainment experience.

For music-lovers, Yota Music offers an extensive online music catalogue of more than 50,000 titles, including a wide range of music from both international and independent music labels. Users can choose to either play the tracks direct from the online catalogue, or download them to the HTC MAX 4G’s 8GB of onboard flash memory.

In addition, a separate catalogue of electronic books is available, so users can download, read and enjoy a broad range of books while on the move.  “The introduction of the HTC MAX 4G represents the culmination of a close partnership between HTC and Yota to develop the world’s first integrated mobile GSM/WIMAX handset,” said Peter Chou, CEO and President, HTC Corporation.  “Russia is a key strategic market for HTC and Yota’s Mobile WiMAX network sets a new global benchmark for next-generation mobile services.”  

HTC MAX 4G: Flexible Communication

The HTC MAX 4G supports GSM calls using a SIM card from any Russian network operator and when both callers are Yota subscribers, the call will automatically be routed as a VoIP call over the Yota Mobile WiMAX network. The Yota Phone service also supports more business applications, allowing users to switch between English and Russian contact records while providing functionality such as call holding, conference calling and video calling using the VGA camera on the front of the device.  

HTC MAX 4G: Unparalleled Performance With Intuitive Usability

The HTC MAX 4G was created to take full advantage of Yota’s high-speed Mobile WiMAX network without compromising style or ease of use.  The device is sleek and elegant and includes a vibrant, large 3.8 inch, 800x480 WVGA touch screen display. The HTC MAX 4G also integrates a 3.5mm headphone jack to create the best possible experience for enjoying movies, music and photos on the go. Running Windows Mobile 6.1, the HTC MAX 4G incorporates HTC’s proprietary Touch FLO 3D user interface, allowing swift and intuitive navigation to key applications such as dialling calls, listening to music, taking picture and more.  

Introduction of Yota Yap-yap

HTC MAX 4G users can now record their lives through a lens thanks to Yota’s Yap-yap service. This allows contacts to be synchronised and edited through the Web and video clips and photos can also be uploaded to www.yota.ru. Images taken with the integrated 5MP camera can also be geo-tagged using coordinates from the integrated GPS.

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HTC Fuze now live on AT&T's Web site

We brought you the first video of AT&T's version of the HTC Touch Pro, now dubbed the Fuze. We brought you a full-on review, as only Dieter Bohn can do. Then we brought word that the Fuze was available in stores a day earlier than expected.

Now, for those who just can't make it to an AT&T store, we're telling you that it's available online for $299 after the usual rebates/contracts.

At this point, you don't really have any excuses. While there's no substitute for feeling a phone in your own hands, the next best thing is, well, putting it in ours.

So check out Dieter's reviews. Check out HobbesIsReal's excellent 24-hour review of the Sprint version. And take a walk through our forums and see what your fellow readers are saying.

Because knowing is half the battle. (Hey, at least it wasn't a "Fuze" pun ...)

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And where be the X1?

See that phone there? That's the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

And that's still as close as you can get to it.

Word on the street is that the third-party vendors who supply components of the device — think processor, GPS, radio and who knows what else that's packed into this thing — can't keep up with demand, and thus we still have seen neither hide nor hair of the X1 on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

From the Dutch-language Tweakers.net (translation):

Xperia handsets are currently only in dribs and drabs, said the spokesman Harold Abstract opposite Tweakers.net. The problem in all countries where Sony Ericsson phone last month on the market. "We have a problem with the supply of components by third parties. That does not make enough parts on time, leaving too few copies of the device can be made."

Oh. That could just mean all kinds of good (read bad) news for AT&T, which, as we just learned, is still trying to get the HTC Fuze out the door.

Via Inxperia

Meanwhile, you can hold yourself over with our own review from way back in April or this more recent one from Mobile Tech Addicts.

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AT&T Fuze coming Nov. 11 for $299

A couple of days ago we asked "Where be the Fuze?" Apparently the boys and girls over at the Boy Genius Report were reading and have been kind enough to track down the answer.

The date: Nov. 11 — that'd be next Tuesday, just a week after what we initially thought would be the launch.

The price: $299.99 with the standard 2-year contract/rebates/data plan.

The cost goes up from there. If you want it off-contract, you're gonna have to shell out $499.99.

What else do we learn? There should be a camera-less version for the worrisome enterprise types. Expect a national advertising campaign starting next month.

Hit up the BGR link here for the rest of the dirty details.

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It's been long speculated that devices such as the Sprint Diamond and Touch Pro have build in FM radios that are disabled. The question is are they disabled at the hardware level (bad) or software level (good)?

Well the news is at least for Sprint Touch Diamond users it is at the software level and you can now enable that ancient technology and get FM jamming through your touchy device.

Thanks to No2Chem, famous for his custom ROMs on various HTC devices, you can go ahead and grab his latest project right here.

Bad news? Don't expect any such FM goodness on the Sprint Touch Pro (see gallery):

HOWEVER, the Touch PRO is a different
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We haven't forgotten all you Alltel customers out there in the recent release of HTC devices. (See Touch Pro on Sprint and the Touch Fuze (this week, we hope) on AT&T.)

The Touch Diamond has been available for a couple of days now. You'll pay $249.99 after the usual contract discount and mail-in rebate. And with the Verizon-Alltel deal getting the go-ahead from the Justice Department — provided Verizon sells off some its assets first — you'd probably better pick this up before the Big V does some of its famous device neutering.

We're also still expecting the Touch Pro. A little birdie tells us it should be released on or about Nov. 14. Price reportedly could be $100 higher than the Diamond, but that'd leave it $50 more than Sprint is asking for the Touch Pro. So we'll wait and see on that one.

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A look at the Treo Pro bootloader

We were pretty sure that HTC was the manufacturer for the Treo Pro even before it was confirmed. Here's a little more inside baseball.

TreoProTricks has published the key sequence to enter the bootloader, which is the gateway into the bowels of the phone. When we talk about applying rom updates on an HTC device, the bootloader's where the action is. There we learn a few things:

  1. The HTC codename for the Treo Pro is PANT100, presumably for "Panther." (The Treo 750 is "Cheetah.")
  2. The Treo Pro is, in fact, a full-on HTC device with the Palm branding and customizations, as was the Treo 750.
  3. If you can get to the bootloader, it's a huge step toward loading custom roms.

The bootloader is not a toy (he types as he shakes his finger). And you can't just load any rom onto your phone — there are a few security checkpoints in place. But once/if the folks at the various Treo hackery sites get up and running, we could see some very cool things in the Treo Pro's future.

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The launch date for Sprint's HTC Touch pro has bounced around more than election poll numbers. (See here, here and here.) Case in point: Our own HobbesIsReal managed to snag one last week and posted his 24-hour impressions.

But we're happy to say that the Touch Pro now is officially officially here. It's up on Sprint's Web site and everything. That's the good news.

The bad news is that it's gonna cost you. The $579.99 list price is knocked down to $399.99 after "instant savings." And you can take another $100 off that with a mail-in rebate. But for that to kick in, you have to sign up for an "everything" plan (starting at $99 a month), a "Data Premier" add-on or "PRO Pack" add-on. That's SOP for Sprint these days, but be forewarned anyway. And by many accounts, you get your money's worth, GPS lag notwithstanding.

Look for our full-on review here in the next week or so as HobbesIsReal puts the Touch Pro through its paces.

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Thar she blows! The white Diamond!

Well, look at that. We'd heard rumors that there was a white HTC Touch Diamond roaming the waters of Europe, and it looks like someone's managed to capture the elusive beast, albeit chained to a display.

Dutch site jouw Mobiel (translation) has the lowdown on the Touch Diamond Ice White, which is said to be on sale in the Netherlands next month. Specs are said to be the same as the traditional black diamond.

And there's an added bonus.

If you're over in the NL and pick one up, you'll also be greeted by a voucher that lets you "Pimp My Diamond." (Xzibit probably not included.) You send the voucher back to HTC and get your choice of a gold, silver or pink back cover that has Swarovski Crystals inlaid.

Let it never be said again that Europeans don't care what their phones looks like.

Via coolsmartphone

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