This morning I was lucky enough to attend the swanky HTC press launch for their new Touch smartphone which Dave told you about earlier today, and what do you know? I managed to snag a few minutes with HTC’s Chief Marketing Officer, John Wang, to ask him about the Touch phone, who it’s aimed at, and what he thinks about other competitors’ touchscreen phones, like the Apple iPhone and LG Prada.
Take a look at the video below (no sniggering at my ‘Choose Life’ t-shirt…nothing wrong with Wham and George Michael, thankyouverymuch), and then look on below the jump for my thoughts on the Touch phone, some more photos (including unboxing it), and my initial review having had one in my sweaty little hand for half a day now.
May just passed saw HTC’s 10th anniversary in the industry, so it was inevitable that they would launch a revolutionary new phone to join the plethora of smartphones in their wardrobe. John Wang, Chief Marketing Officer for HTC, commented that “2007 will be looked upon in 10 years time as the year of changes”, with this year certainly being the year for touchscreen implementation, between Apple’s iPhone, LG’s Prada phone, Microsoft’s Surface table, and many other bandwagon-jumpers.
As Dave mentioned earlier on Tech Digest, there’s very few buttons on the phone, with the actual activities, such as inputting data like mobile numbers, and texting and emailing, being done by using the stylus or your fingernail on the screen. Infact, the only buttons on the front of the phone are the ‘talk’, ‘end’, and inbetween them, the navigation and enter button, which can be tilted up, down, left or right for navigation on the screen, or pressed for entering a command.
HTC smartphones normally possess qwerty slide-out keyboards, so the Touch is certainly an example of just how far HTC can run with their imagination. When I asked Peter Chou, HTC’s CEO and president, if any future models of the Touch device would contain a slide-out keyboard, he was very cagey, obviously not wanting to reveal any secrets. He did comment however that they’re not targeting businesspeople with the Touch, as obviously emails and data-input aren’t as easy when using a keyboard-interface on the screen with the stylus, that this is perhaps for people wanting to enter the smartphone-market, but not go the full hog with specifications.
Personally, I’d like to see a slide-out qwerty keyboard on the Touch unit, but I understand in HTC’s eyes, I use my mobile for business purposes, so am not the target audience for the device. People wanting to listen to their MP3s using the generous 1-GB miniSD card supplied with the phone, or taking and viewing photos using the 2-mp camera will be delighted with Touch – but for those wanting to use their phone to send numerous text messages or emails should look towards HTC’s numerous other smartphones, with slide-out qwerty keyboards.
Keep your eyes fixed on Tech Digest over the next few days, as tomorrow we’ll have a video review of the HTC Touch, and late this week an in-depth written review by yours truly, after I’ve used it day-to-day for my many mobile purposes.
By Katherine Hannaford | June 5th, 2007