O2 and HTC target new smartphone market

HTC and Telefónica have announced an exclusive partnership to sell the HTC Smart, an affordable and easy to use smartphone, in the UK, Ireland and Germany this April. The HTC Smart is a smartphone for the masses, offering easy to use widgets, browsing and connectivity, at an affordable price.

“More and more people are craving advanced mobile phone experiences with email, web browsing and social networking but the cost and complexity often represent a significant obstacle for many. The HTC Smart introduces this functionality in an intuitive phone that is affordable,” said Peter Chou, CEO at HTC. “With the HTC Smart, HTC and Telefónica share a similar vision for bringing easy to use, affordable smartphone experience to the masses.”

The device is being targeted towards 16 to 22 year olds, most of whom will be using pay as you go feature phones currently, noted HTC head of Europe, Florien Seiche. “We want to get them onto smartphones. We are using a targeted approach on social networking and internet usage, rather than applications,” he added.

Steve Alder, Telefonica O2, added: “We will be bringing this to market at half the price of today’s smartphones, which will appeal to younger people. We are giving people their first experience of mobile data, getting them over the barriers of affordability and ease of use.” Alder continued: “These people probably don’t have a credit card, so we want to make this easily accessible.”

The HTC Smart embodies HTC Sense, HTC’s unique design philosophy, and is based on Qualcomm’s Brew Mobile Platform (Brew MP), a powerful but lightweight operating sysytem that enables HTC to deliver the HTC Sense experience on more affordable smartphones. By pioneering a new era of mass-market smartphones, Brew MP also provides the HTC Smart with a mass market opportunity for new applications and services from software developers worldwide.