Another day, another raft of new patent infringement lawsuits. Thursday saw Apple file new claims against Taiwan’s HTC, this time alleging that the smartphone maker infringed patents including the technology for the “slide to unlock” start screen.
As lines began to form for the iPhone 4 outside Apple stores on Wednesday, Motorola and Verizon Wireless tried to steal a little of the limelight with their unveiling of the next-generation Droid X.
However, the new smartphone seems more of a competitor to another Android phone – the HTC Evo, sold by Sprint.
The first fourth-generation cellphone in the US – the HTC Evo on Sprint’s WiMax network – is a fast, video-rich smartphone that can turn itself into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Read our Personal Technology review from the Business Life section of Friday’s FT:
“Even without its 4G mobile broadband capabilities, HTC’s Android-powered EVO 4G smartphone is an impressive touchscreen-based handset because it combines many of the best features found in other devices to produce what could start a whole new category, which might possibly be called ‘superphones’.”
In this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, we look at whether the latest HTC smartphone is deserving of its superlative name.
“Names can become a hostage to fortune but Taiwan’s HTC clearly hopes this will not be the case with the Droid Incredible. While the latest in HTC’s rapidly expanding portfolio of smartphones may not quite qualify as “incredible”, it is perhaps the best Android operating system-based handset to date.”
HTC scored a hit with the Android-powered myTouch 3G when it was launched by T-Mobile USA in July last year. Now the Taiwanese smartphone maker has followed up with the myTouch 3G Slide which features a slide-out mini-Qwerty keyboard and the curiously named ‘Genius Button’ on the front of the handset.
Pressing the Genius Button enables users to use voice commands to control the phone and its features including making calls, composing and sending texts and e-mails or searching for a nearby restaurant. It will also read text messages aloud, and lets users dictate and send responses.
There’s further evidence today that Google’s Nexus One has so far been a flop.
The phone barely registers in a comparison of the amount of internet traffic generated by the 11 handsets that use Google’s Android operating system:
(Nexus One is the narrow green line barely noticeable at bottom right).
There are not many companies that can get both Google and Microsoft executives to show up at a construction site to say what an indispensable partner they are, but Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC did just that on Friday when they held the ground-breaking ceremony for their new HQ and R&D centre in Taipei.
HTC’s Android-powered Evo 4G – the first Wimax-enabled smartphone which will be offered for sale by Sprint Nextel this summer in the US – was unquestionably the star of the telecoms industry’s CTIA show in Las Vegas this week. (See Chris Nuttall’s earlier post.) But it was not the only smartphone show in town.
Other new smartphones launched at CTIA included HTC’s HD2 which looks very similar to the Evo 4G but runs Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 and is available from T-Mobile immediately for $199 – if you can find one.
The first 4G phone in the US, the HTC Evo unveiled by Sprint at the CTIA show on Tuesday, ticks just about all the boxes for my ideal phone.
We await details of pricing and plans and exactly when the handset will be available this summer, but the features are mouth-watering enough to satisfy the thirst of smartphone addicts for the time being. Details after the jump.
HTC, the Taiwan smartphone maker sued earlier this month by Apple for alleged patent infringement, said on Thursday that it “disagrees with Apple’s legal actions and will fully defend itself”.
The statement is HTC’s first official response to the lawsuit, but HTC’s statement reveals relatively little about the company’s planned legal strategy. HTC did not say how and when it would make a formal legal response to Apple’s suit.
The statement, however, did emphasise a long list of HTC’s technological ’firsts’ that predate the iPhone.