Handset maker HTC is reportedly working to release the update to the company’s Touch HD smartphone, currently running on the Windows Mobile operating system (OS), which is instead powered by Google’s fledgling Android OS. Technology blog Register Hardware quoted sources from the company saying the company is making the switch for the handset, for which a release date hasn’t yet been set.
The source also said the updated handset will use a faster 628MHz Qualcomm chip and feature a 3.8-inch touchscreen. HTC’s decision may not come as great surprise to some, as the company has launched previous handsets with Android, including T-Mobile’s G1 (the first phone to the market that used the Android mobile device platform) and the Vodafone Magic, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February and Hero (the first Android device to support Adobe Flash).
Earlier this month, wireless carrier Sprint announced the availability of the long-awaited HTC Touch Pro2 on September 8, this Tuesday, when customers can grab the smartphone for $350 including a two-year contract. The device offers Windows Mobile 6.1, TouchFlo user interface and entertainment options like Sprint TV with live and on-demand programming, as well as Sprint’s exclusive sports applications NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile.
Google’s platform, which has experienced a relaxed rate of acceptance in the mobile ecosystem, is nonetheless establishing a foothold. In April, T-Mobile, the U.S.’s fourth-largest wireless network operator with 32.1 million customers, announced it had sold one million G1 Android smartphones since its debut in October 2008. Facing intense competition from the Apple App Store, Google also bolstered Android on the application side. Earlier this year, Google announced a mobile-friendly version of its Product Search application, emphasizing its utility for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Product Search allows users to type whatever they’re searching for into the search bar and receive results pulled from a variety of shopping sites.
However, HTC isn’t quite ready to migrate completely over to Android, if the company’s recent announcement in collaboration with Sprint is any indication. Announced earlier this month, the HTC Touch Pro2 features a 3.6-inch WVGA variable-angle tilting touch-screen,a wide, slide-out keyboard that is larger than its predecessor-and the Windows Mobile 6.1 OS. Features like TouchFlo 3D bring information important to the user-such as quick access to contacts, messaging, e-mail and weather-to the top level of the user interface, and battery life has been expanded by 20 percent.
Sprint claims their mobile broadband network (inclusive of data roaming) reaches more than 271 million people, 18,652 cities and 1,838 airports. The company boasts it has three times the coverage of AT&T’s current 3G network and more than 20 times the coverage of T-Mobile’s current 3G network, both based on square miles.