Sat, Oct 08, 2011 - Page 11 News List

HTC unveils Beats Audio smartphone in London

WIRED FOR SOUND:The Sensation XL runs Android and allows users to get on-cable remote control of their music and make hands-free calls with its Beats headphones

Staff Writer, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s fifth-largest smartphone maker, unveiled a 4.7-inch smartphone using Beats Audio technology in London yesterday, at a time when rival Apple Inc’s new iPhone 4S is getting a cool reception.

The HTC Sensation XL is the second Beats phone HTC has launched within a month, after the company invested US$309 million in August for a 51 percent share of US headphone maker Beats Electronics.

“With Beats Audio, the HTC Sensation XL continues HTC’s commitment of delivering the best audio possible on your phone, whether you’re listening to music, watching a movie or playing a game,” HTC chief executive Peter Chou (周永明) said in a statement. “This is an amazing example of why our partnership with Beats makes so much sense for customers today and into the future.”

FEATURES

Featuring Google’s Android platform and a thickness of 9.9mm, the Sensation XL allows users to get on-cable remote control of their music and make hands-free calls with the Beats headphones. It also runs an online video service, “HTC Watch,” and has an 8 megapixel camera.

The Sensation XL will be available across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region from early next month, HTC said.

Meanwhile, Apple unveiled its new iPhone 4S on Wednesday, 16 months after the previous version was launched. The new model is the same size as the iPhone 4, but it is equipped with a faster 1.5GHz dual-core A5 processor, an improved 8 megapixel camera and higher storage capacity of up to 64 gigabytes (GB).

RIVALS’ OPPORTUNITIES

However, foreign investment banks said the new product would give more opportunities to non-Apple players.

“Most of the iPhone 4S technical specifications have been well introduced by Apple’s competitors or Samsung’s new LTE phones. Our latest survey for new smartphones among Apple’s competitors also shows further upgraded tech specs, such as a shift from 8-16GB NAND content to 32-64GB,” Merrill Lynch wrote in a report.

Although the iPhone 4S dual-mode support of GSM and CDMA networks seems positive for distribution expansion, Citigroup said the market may react favorably to Apple’s competitors and unfavorably to the iPhone 4S.

“Over the longer term, we do see better opportunity for competitors if Apple can’t accelerate its product launch schedule in a big way,” Citigroup said in a note. “If Apple can’t ‘wow’ consumers with its iPhone 5 in mid-2012, we do see a much better earnings outlook for HTC in the second half of 2012.”

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