HTC's 3G IPhone Rival out in 30 Countries Already

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High Tech Computer (HTC), the world's largest maker of smartphones that use Microsoft Windows Mobile, said Thursday its Touch Diamond handset has already been launched by 50 operators in 30 countries around the world.

The company also plans to introduce four or five more Diamond family products in the second half of this year.

The Touch Diamond, popular for its contoured shape, touchscreen and other iPhone-like features, is also a 3G (third generation mobile telecommunications) handset and can store up to 4G bytes of music, photos or other data. It's a follow-up to the HTC Touch smartphone launched last year.

HTC says it has also been successful in working out deals to lower the initial cost of the handset for users. Apple's US$199 price tag on the 3G iPhone put pressure on HTC, which had originally planned to launch the device for NT$23,900 (US$783) in Taiwan.

Earlier this month HTC announced a deal to sell the Touch Diamond for NT$2,999 (US$98) with certain 3G contracts from Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's largest mobile phone service provider.

The company has already announced one of its new Diamond family products, the Touch Pro, a business handset with a similar design to the Touch Diamond.

Touch Pro shares the curved diamond backside of its sister handset, but it's thicker due to the Qwerty-keypad that slides out from underneath for easy thumb typing. Also like the Touch Diamond, the Touch Pro is a 3G smartphone with a 2.8-inch touchscreen, and runs on the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS.

HTC said it expects its revenue in the third quarter to rise 30 percent year-over-year, a sign of confidence in sales of Diamond family handsets.

Also on Thursday, HTC reiterated its expectation to put out a handset based on Google's Android mobile phone software in the fourth quarter of this year.

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