HTC launches new phone in One line, goes on sale late-March

 Associated Press        Last Updated: February 23, 2013  | 11:34 IST

HTC Corp, the struggling Taiwanese maker of smartphones, is taking a page from longtime partner Microsoft Corp as it launches a new phone under the One brand.

The phone runs Google Inc's Android software, but HTC is grafting its own home screen on the phone, one that's similar to that of Microsoft's Windows Phone software.

HTC Corp's BlinkFeed interface consists of large tiles that update automatically with information and photos from news sites and social networks.

The new HTC One has a 4.7-inch screen, making it larger than the iPhone but smaller than some other Android phones, including HTC's own 5-inch Droid DNA, which launched in November. The HTC One has the same screen resolution as the larger phone, at 1920 by 1080 pixels.

At a press event in New York, HTC's design director Jonah Becker emphasised "precision machining that goes into making the virtually all-metal body of the phone. In a design reminiscent of the iPhone 5, HTC has eliminated all the little gaps between different parts, giving the phone a smooth, tight feel in the hand."

HTC One features two speakers, at the top and bottom of the screen, producing a stereo effect when the phone is turned on its side for movie viewing. Another unusual feature is an infrared diode that lets the phone serve as a universal remote for a TV or media center.

The phone will go on sale in late March. HTC says US partners will include AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, but specific availability dates and prices were not announced.

HTC sold 32 million smartphones last year according to research firm Gartner, giving it about 4 per cent of the worldwide market. Unit sales were down 26 per cent from HTC's peak in 2011.

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