announcement regarding the Open Handset Alliance, I
just came out of a conference call
HTC hosted this morning where the world's
largest Windows Mobile device manufacture provided some insights of HTC's
mobile devices and the overall role of the
Open Handset Alliance and why HTC believes into Android-based devices.
While HTC hasn't unveiled any product details yet, because it's too early to
talk about any unfinished products, HTC's John Wang, Chief Marketing Officer and
Florian Seiche, VP of HTC Europe confirmed, that we will see the first product(s)
released and available in second half of 2008 - in America as well as EMEA.
For HTC, the Android platform has a strong focus to the consumer market,
following HTC's philosophy of personal mobility which means that one size
doesn't fits all. While it wasn't mentioned in the call, that Microsoft's
Windows Mobile platform isn't the best for consumers, it was clear - between the
lines - that HTC doubt that Windows Mobile is the best available consumer
Furthermore Wang mentioned, that "HTC and Google shares a vision of
bringing an optimized Internet experience to the consumer. Android provides
the perfect flexibility to extend HTCs device portfolio to a new category of
mobile phones. Android provides the opportunity to release Information and
content driven mobile phones."
However, it was also confirmed (and an HTC spokesman confirmed this yesterday as
well), that there are no doubts, that HTC is still fully committed to its
partnership with Microsoft and that HTC also plans to grow in the field of
Windows Mobile devices. For HTC, Touch (the device) and TouchFLO (the
technology) are very important innovations but these are not the only. In the
future, HTC will also continue with innovations based on Android.
Wang noted that HTC is "very committed and this will not change. Android
is an additional opportunity beyond Windows Mobile to create another value."
Nevertheless, it was mentioned, that the new platform provides innovation
without limitations and that connected mobility is far more than web browsing
but Android is Internet centric and focused on consumer market.
While also Android is based on a Linux kernel, the big difference between
today's existing Linux-based devices and Android is the fact, that Android is a
truly open mobile platform. The common thing will be that application and
content can be exchanged without interoperability problems. Doesn't matter if
there are 10, 100 or 1000 Android devices from different manufactures.
According to HTC, in the second half of 2008 we will see HTC branded devices as
well as - most likely - operator branded devices but HTC hasn't given any
indications if we will also see Google branded devices (from HTC).
All together, HTC is pretty excited and sees Android as a good underlying
technology to provide further innovation, where Windows Mobile might be too
limited. While HTC didn't talked about any product features, it's clear that
Android-based mobile phones are pretty much connectivity focused. However, the
new platform have to prove, that it can also handle the very basic voice tasks a
mobile phone is used for at first.
Cheers ~ Arne