Unfortunately for those of us in the U.S. or Latin America, the Diamond will not be available until the second half of 2008. If you’re in European markets, the phone begins shipping in June, followed by Asia and the Middle East.
As you know, much has been said about the iPhone since its launch last June. Ever since then, any phone released by any manufacturer is compared with the iPhone.
But so far, no one has come close to the iPhone’s design, interface, usability, user experience, and overall satisfaction, although Nokia’s offerings are popular. One “phone” promised to take on the iPhone, but the so-called Gphone, running Google’s mobile operating system Android, hasn’t been released by any manufacturer yet, it isn’t expected until the fourth quarter, and is completely untested in the market.
The Touch Diamond certainly has impressive specs — a 2.8-inch, 680×480 VGA display, quad-band, 3G, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, HSDPA support, a 3.2-megapixel camera, 4GB internal storage, 256MB flash memory, 192MB RAM, and SD external storage. It runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and a full Web browser in Opera. And, as previously stated, its darn attractive.
But without having one to play with, it’s impossible to say how the Touch Diamond stacks up to the iPhone experience. For sake of argument, let’s hope HTC’s new phone is compelling and scares the pants off Apple in the name of competition.
Chances of that happening, however, are slim as Apple is about to move into the next phase of the iPhone’s life — as evidenced by all the rumors of the coming 3G phone, expected to be announced in early June with availability following shortly thereafter.
If Apple has played its hand right, the iPhone is poised to enter 2.0-land far ahead of everybody else, especially with a 3G offering, enterprise support, and third-party applications coming soon. HTC, Nokia, Gphone makers, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and BlackBerry have yet to even hit with successful 1.0 products.
Apple also has a marketing and publicity advantage in the U.S., where Nokia is well known but doesn’t sell as many phones as it does worldwide. HTC has almost no name recognition, although it is slowly gaining in prominence.
While the HTC Touch Diamond appears to be a compelling product worthy of challenging the iPhone, we’ll have to wait and see it in action here in the States. And by then, iPhone 2.0 will be out. Will anybody even remember HTC?