So you think you’ve never heard of an HTC phone? But how could that be? HTC (formerly known as High Tech Computer Corporation), a Taiwanese corporation, grossed over $2.2 billion in 2005 alone. BusinessWeek named it the fastest growing tech company in their vaunted BusinessWeek Info Tech 100. And Microsoft chose HCT as their hardware development platform partner for their Windows Mobile program. Still never heard of HTC? Have you heard of T-Mobile’s G1, the first touchpad phone offered under the T-Mobile name? Of course you have. And if so, you have heard of an HTC phone. As it turns out, HTC phones are everywhere, they are just operating under other names – HCT, Dopod, Qtek, Orange, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, O2, Vodafone, AT&T, Alltel, Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility being just a very few.
The paradigm of the cell phone world changed with the advent of the iPhone. Suddenly, Blackberries, flip-phones or phones that doubled as MP3 players were no longer high tech enough. When the iPhone entered (and subsequently dominated) the cell phone scene, users clamored for phones with smartpad, touchscreen technology. It seemed that nothing less would do. Never ones to pass a trend (after all, in this day and age, if you pass up on the next great trend, then your electronics company is sunk), other mobile manufacturers strove to quickly catch up with the iPhone. And that’s where HTC phones come into the picture.
Founded in May of 1997, HTC was originally an outsourcing company, meaning that manufactured its own products, but then outsourced them to other companies who applied their own branding and took charge of all the marketing aspects of the technology. That explains why you see HTC phone technology wearing the T-Mobile, or AT&T or Verizon logo on its cover these days. Today though, HTC has created its own branding and now supports its own products, such as HTC phones, as well as continuing to support its many, many partners. To go along with other changes in business model, HTC is now chaired by Cher Wang, daughter of one of Taiwan’s wealthiest men Wang Yung-Ching.
HTC phones entered the touchphone game with their, unassumingly named, 2007 HTC Touch. The model was finger sensitive and stylus friendly, allowing users to touch it however they pleased. Users reported that it was easy to operate and, like the iPhone, allowed for the use of taps and gestures.
Though unlike other phones like Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, they may not be a household name in the United States, HTC phones are a big deal. Apparently competitors will do just about anything to secure a lead on that HTC technology. For example, according to a story in the Australian newpaper the Herald Sun, Sol Trujillo, the CEO of Telstra, an Australian communications and media company, was actually pickpocketed while carrying a prototype HTC phone. The hoopla around this event was the result of the fact that Trujillo was carrying either an HTC Touch Diamond2 or an HTC TouchPro2 that was sporting an early build of some very secret technology – Windows Mobile 6.5. HTC vaulted to popularity when Windows chose the company as a partner for their Windows Mobile technology. No matter what the result of the pickpocketing, neither the Touch Diamond2 and the Touch Pro2 will actually be running Windows Mobile 6.5 when released.
While they may not be a household name yet, HTC phones, and the technology company behind them, are growing in popularity every year. It remains to be seen whether HTC will be the next technology to watch. They have BusinessWeek’s vote.