HTC Unveils Wildfire Android 2.1 Smartphone for Teens
With the May 17 introduction of the Wildfire, popular mobile device maker HTC
announced it will be pitching its Android-based smartphone experience to younger
audiences than the broader markets it has sought to reach with previous models,
such as the HTC Desire and Droid Incredible.
While HTC hasn't disclosed pricing details yet, it's expected that the Wildfire, which will run Google's Android 2.1 operating system, will be released with a teen-friendly price tag.
"Today's social networks provide an essential forum for friendship with more than 400 million users-many of whom are young adults-actively sharing their lives with their friends through Facebook," Florian Seiche, vice president of HTC EMEA, said in a statement. "HTC Wildfire makes the HTC Sense experience available to young mobile users for the first time. It brings all your communications into one place, whether it's through Facebook, Twitter, text messages, images or e-mail, ensuring that you are never far away from the conversation and always close to your friends."
The Wildfire features a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, 7.3 hours of talk time, and 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. It measures 4.2 by 2.4 by 0.5 inches, supports Gmail, Imap4, POP3 and SMTP-based e-mail, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), and instant messaging, and has a Web browser, GPS, a music player and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack. There's 512MB of RAM, 284MB of ROM and MicroSD card support for 32GB of additional memory.
But what HTC expects the kids will go for is an updated version of HTC's Sense software, as well as a new application-sharing feature. With Sense, data streams from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are all organized into a single update. Also, the Wildfire's address book attaches to each contact a thread of recent communications with that person, so it's easy to see past phone calls, texts and e-mails.
As for the application-sharing widget, it offers a simple way for Wildfire users to recommend applications to friends and for friends to take them up on the suggestion.
"We understand that people need a better way to navigate their way through the tens of thousands of applications that are currently available on the Android Market," Seiche continued. "In fact, our own independent research found that consumers are not only hungry for the latest and most popular applications that their friends are using, they want an easier way to find and download them. For the first time ever, you can recommend the newest and coolest apps to a friend or group of friends with HTC Wildfire."
The Wildfire will arrive in European and Asian markets beginning in the third quarter of 2010. No carrier partners have been announced.