HTC Launches Windows Mobile-Based iPhone Rival

High Tech Computer announced the HTC Touch, a Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional OS device 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 OSes, and its focus on a 2.8-inch touch screen in the HTC Touch is similar to the emphasis Apple has put on touch-screen features in its iPhone, which is due out later this month.

The touch-screen technology on the HTC Touch was developed by HTC, the company said Tuesday. Users need only sweep their fingers across the screen to bring up an animated interface comprising three views: Contacts, Media and Applications. The views also allow finger control for scrolling on documents and browsing webpages.

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Apple has highlighted touch-screen features as a key reason to try out its iPhone, including scrolling through songs and movies on the 3.5-inch-wide display. The main difference appears to be the focus on entertainment for the iPhone, while the Touch focuses on e-mail and other more businesslike 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.

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The HTC Touch includes multiple wireless technologies, including triband Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) for voice, while data can be uploaded and downloaded to the Internet quickly via Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE) and Wi-Fi. Device-to-device data transmission is offered via Bluetooth.

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

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

HTC is the also the maker of the popular T-Mobile Dash smartphone.

(Al Sacco of CIO.com contributed to this report.)

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