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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 5, 2007 at 10:46 AM

HTC tries a softer touch

HTC, the Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer that has its North American headquarters in Bellevue, has launched the HTC Touch, a phone expected to rival the Apple iPhone.

HTC

The new HTC touch is expected to rival the Apple iPhone.

The launch comes the day I wrote a story about how companies are gearing up to offer competitive offerings before the iPhone goes on sale June 29.

HTC calls the Touch a “deceptively small and stylish mobile phone that ushers in an innovative new concept in intuitive touch screen navigation.”

The screen can apparently distinguish the difference between a finger and a stylus and respond accordingly.

“With the HTC Touch, access to your most commonly used content, contacts and features is only a simple finger flick away,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC. “Mobile phone makers have done a great job of cramming ever-more exciting features into ever-smaller phones. But the way in which one accesses these increasingly sophisticated features has not kept pace. That ends today with the HTC Touch.”

The HTC Touch uses a feature called TouchFLO, which allows consumers to sweep their finger up the display to launch an animated, three-dimensional interface comprising three screens: Contacts, Media and Applications. The interface can be spun by swiping a finger right or left across the display, providing access to the features consumers use most.

The phone, which uses Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6, is set to begin shipping within the next week, via France Telecom-owned mobile operator Orange. Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile will also launch the product under its own brand, MDA Touch, this month, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

UDPATE: In case you were wondering, in June, the HTC Touch will be offered by T-Mobile under the MDA brand internationally, not here in the U.S. from T-Mobile USA.

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