MWC: HTC and O2 launch the 'Smart' low cost smartphone

MWC: HTC and O2 launch the 'Smart' low cost     smartphone

O2 and HTC today announced an exclusive partnership to sell the HTC Smart, an affordable and easy to use smartphone in the UK, Ireland and Germany.

The device is aimed at customers moving up from feature phones to a smartphone, who want email, web browsing and social networking and at people who are put off by the high cost and complexity of many other smartphones.

Jon French, HTC's executive director for UK & Ireland, told Mobile that the device will be available on both pre-pay and post-pay tariffs from 1 April. The tariffs have not yet been revealed however.

Launching the phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Matthew Key, chief executive officer of Telefonica, said: 'We believe this is a key move in our ability to bring smartphones to a far wider cross section of the population. The benefits of web browsing on the move and ability to experience applications like mobile social networking will now be brought to the mass market and reinforces O2's position as the home of the smartphone.'

The Smart uses Qualcomm's Brew Mobile platform with HTC's Sense UI sitting on top. The use of the Brew platform is the key factor in keeping the cost of the phone down.

'If you use Android you have to have a certain level of functionality and that is expensive,' said French. 'Using the Brew platform allows us to reduce the cost, but we can still add our Sense UI on top, so it can do everything the Legend and Desire (new HTC Android-based devices announced yesterday) can do, but at a cheaper price.'

The HTC Smart is one of a number of cheaper smartphones coming onto the market aimed at capturing the youth market and cost conscious customers.

French said: 'It will give a good quality browsing experience to young people. For O2 that will be sticky for their brand. The reason with gone for an exclusive deal with an operator is that it's a new segment of the market and we need help reaching it.'

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today

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