HTC Gives Advantage to the U.S. Market

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HTC has apparently decided to bring its Advantage X7501 PDA to the Unites States markets after successfully rolling out the device in Asia and Europe earlier this year—and will do so under its own HTC name rather than manufacturing the device under the brand name of a major mobile operator. The move marks a departure for HTC, which has built a non-name for itself making handsets and devices for bigger players.

The Advantage runs Windows Mobile 6.0 and sports an 8 GB hard drive with miniSD expansion storage, offers a 5-inch touchscreen and a detachable QWERTY keyboard which at least makes it conceivable to enter data and conduct messaging using the device laptop-style. The Advantage sports integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology, tri-band UMTS/HSDPA mobile broadband along with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, and support for Direct Pus email. If that weren’t enough, consider the 3 megapixel integrated camera, TV Out for putting presentations or media on a projector or big screen, 128 MB of on-board RAM, 624 MHz CPU, and HTC’s VueFLO motion sensor-assisted browsing.

HTC says the Advantage will be available to U.S. consumers this summer; pricing and carrier details haven’t been announced. The device may appeal to PDA and smartphone fan whos want the power of Windows Mobile in a more-sophisticated package than a typical pocket-sized device…but one has to wonder why a U.S. carrier wasn’t eager to lock the device into an exclusive deal.

HTC also plans to show of it’s much-rumored UMPC, the HTC Shift, at Microsoft’s booth at the CTIA mobile trade show. The company hasn’t released any firm details on pricing, availability, or even specifications, but the units sport a sliding keyboard and tilt-up screen which gives the Shift the functionality of a laptop when seated; although users can still get along with the two-hands, thumb-driven handheld experience of typical UMPCs. Trial units have been running Windows Vista Busines (with Aero) and feature a 30 GB hard drive, 7-inch LCD touchscreen display, tri-band UMTS/HSDPA connectivity, quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE mobile support, Wi-Fi, a fingerprint reader, and a front-facing camera for video chat.