Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - Page 13 News List

HTC unveils two new, mid-tier phones

FIGHTING WORDS:As it presented the latest models in its Desire series, the Taiwanese firm said on Twitter that its next One phone will give S5 owners buyer’s remorse

Staff writer, with agencies

HTC Corp chief executive Peter Chou unveils the company’s new Desire 816 smartphone at a press conference on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. The trade show will run through Thursday.

Photo: Bloomberg

HTC Corp (宏達電) unveiled two new smartphones in its mid-range Desire series at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain on Monday, the same day that it warned those considering purchasing Samsung Electronics Co’s latest phone that they would experience buyer’s remorse.

The new Desire 816 will be available in China starting next month and in other countries beginning in April, HTC chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said at a press conference.

“With the HTC One leading in the premium segment, it’s clear that there’s a huge opportunity in the middle of the market,” Chou said. “Many people want to have an affordable smartphone that does not compromise [on performance].”

The 5.5-inch Desire 816 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.6GHz processor, features a 13-megapixel rear camera and offers a wide range of 4G long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity, including the 700 megahertz frequency that will soon be introduced in Taiwan.

At the trade show, the company also launched the Desire 610, which it has branded a “compact entertainment hub.” The 4.7-inch smartphone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and fully supports 4G LTE connectivity.

The Desire 816 will be available with the latest version of HTC’s Sense software suite in China from next month and in global markets from April, while the Desire 610 will be available across Europe from May, according to HTC.

Pricing for the new smartphones was not disclosed.

The Taiwanese firm also announced its “HTC Power To Give” initiative at the trade show. The initiative is a mobile-based volunteer computing project that aims to create a supercomputer by harnessing the collective processing power of smartphones running Google Inc’s Android, as it would shorten the research cycles for organizations that would otherwise spend years analyzing the same volume of data.

Currently in beta phase, the project aims to galvanize smartphone owners to unlock their unused processing power to help resolve some of society’s biggest issues, such as the fight against cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease, HTC said.

After downloading the HTC Power To Give app from the Google Play store, smartphone owners can select the research program to which they will divert a portion of their phone’s processing power. Thee app will then run while the phone is charging and connected to a Wi-Fi network.

The beta version of the app will initially be compatible with the HTC One family, the HTC Butterfly and the HTC Butterfly S, before being made more widely available to owners of other HTC Android smartphones in the next six months, according to the company.

“We’ve often used innovation to bring about change in the mobile industry, but this program takes our vision one step further,” HTC chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) said.

“With HTC Power To Give, we want to make it possible for anyone to dedicate their unused smartphone processing power to contribute to projects that have the potential to change the world,” she added.

Meanwhile, HTC has taken an aggressive posture against rival Samsung, saying that consumers who intend to buy the rival’s latest flagship device will soon regret their choice when HTC unveils its next flagship phone.

In a post on Twitter on Monday, HTC said: “Buyer’s remorse: Coming soon to S5 owners.”

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