HTC debuts Microsoft-based iPhone rival

But focus is more on business uses, not entertainment

High Tech Computer Corp. announced the HTC Touch, a device based on the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system that's designed with one-touch screen features giving users instant access to e-mails, contacts and appointments.

Taiwan's HTC is the largest maker of mobile devices based on Microsoft Windows operating systems, and its use of a 2.8-in. touchscreen in the HTC Touch is similar to the emphasis Apple Inc. has put on touchscreen features in its iPhone, which is due on June 29.

Users sweep their fingers across the HTC Touch's screen to bring up an animated interface with three views: Contacts, Media and Applications. The views also allow finger control for scrolling on documents and browsing Web pages.

The HTC Touch

The HTC Touch HTC said today that it developed the touchscreen technology on the HTC Touch itself.

Apple has also touted the touchscreen features in its iPhone. Among other things, the iPhone will allow users to scroll through songs and movies on the 3.5-in. display. The main difference appears to be that the iPhone focuses on entertainment, while the Touch focuses on e-mail and other business-oriented uses.

The Touch does not come with large internal flash memory capacity for music and movie storage, which the iPhone will have. HTC instead offers a microSD drive, and a 1GB microSD card is included with the handset.

The HTC Touch includes multiple wireless technologies, including triband GSM for voice and EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) and Wi-Fi for uploading and downloading data to and from the Internet. Device-to-device data transmission is offered via Bluetooth.

The Touch weighs 112 grams with its battery. The handset also includes a 2-megapixel camera and other features.

It is now available in the U.K., and users throughout Europe and Asia will be able to buy one by the end of this month. North and South America will have to wait until later in the second half of the year. The company did not offer pricing information.

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