AT&T said it will begin selling the HTC Status Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"-based smartphone for $49.99 July 17. The handset features a dedicated Facebook share button.
AT&T (NYSE:T) July 11
said it would begin selling the HTC Status, which runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system, for $49.99 with a
two-year contract July 17.
Status, available for viewing and preorder here
, is considered a
"Facebook Phone" because its key feature is a dedicated Facebook
share button that sits below the handset's physical keyboard.
Users simply press the
button to share status updates, photos and videos they like or have created
with fellow Facebook users. Users may also check into the Facebook Places
check-in service via the share button.
AT&T said the Status is
also "context aware" because it lights up to alert users when there
is an activity to share, such as a song, a Website or a photo.
The HTC Status also features
a Facebook chat application, which lets users start conversations with a tap
and keeps chat conversations running in the background while a user takes a
call, or leaves to browse the Web.
The No. 1 U.S. carrier also
said the Status is the first Android phone in the U.S. to run an enhanced
version of the HTC Sense user interface that integrates Facebook into the
handset's clock, dialer, calendar, address book and photo gallery.
Physical attributes of the
HTC Status include a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash, with a
front-facing camera for self-portraits. The HTC Status, which weighs 4.3 ounces,
also has a 2.6-inch touch-screen with 480 by 320 resolution above the physical
The device is fitted with a 1,250mAh
lithium-ion battery, which enables 6.5 hours of talk time, and has only 512MB of
internal memory. A 2GB microSD card is included.
AT&T, which is
partnering with Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores to offer users an exclusive
mauve edition, is targeting the device for high school or even college users
before they head back to school. It is timed for back-to-school shoppers.
"We can't wait to put
the HTC Status in the hands of our young customers who will waste no time
tapping into Facebook to update their friends," said Jeff Bradley, senior
vice president of devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "We're
also really pleased to offer the hottest new smartphone at an affordable price
to this important, socially savvy youth market."
For a smartphone running the
latest Android Gingerbread build at that price point, it will be tough for
parents to argue to their teenaged children and college goers that the handset
is too expensive.
The handful of smartphones
that run Gingerbread-Samsung Nexus S 4G and some Motorola Droids-cost around
$199 with a contract.
The HTC Status is the HTC
ChaCha smartphone the company unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February
AT&T is also expected to launch its version of the HTC Salsa Facebook
phone, which has a 3.4-inch touch-screen.