HTC who are weeks away from launching a new Windows Phone 7 Smartphone has moved to expand their range of Android claiming that consumers want “choice and options” over standalone offerings like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S.
Their new HTC Aria which is available on the Optus network is very similar to the recently launched Wildfire which is sold by Telstra. It also competes with the HTC Legend and the Hero.
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Described as a pocket sized Smartphone, the Aria comes with a five megapixel camera, a 3.2 inch HVGA display. It will be available at $0 up front and $49 a month from Optus who also throw in 1GB of data.
This year the Android market grew from 1.8% share of the total Smartphone market in Q1 to 17.2% in Q2 with research Company Gartner tipping 10.8 million unit sales Vs 1M at the start of the year.
According to Anthony Petts Sales and Marketing Director at HTC Australia “Choice and different form factors” are the key reasons why HTC keeps launching different models of what is basically the same hardware platform.
“Yes, our competitors are sticking to single models however our strategy is different which is why we are still growing”.
Petts said that at this stage HTC planned to work with carriers and mass retailers Vs selling pre paid modes via convenience store chains and petrol stations a market that is fast being adopted by Nokia who are struggling to break into the Smartphone market.
“we are happy working with carriers and the big retailers. we have an excellent range that straddles these markets” Petts said.
The new Aria, Android 2.1 OS smartphone also has Sense software installed that allows users to access HTC application and widgets such as Friend Stream which aggregates all of a users social communication including Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr into one organised flow of updates.
Mark Mulder, Head of Digital Products, Optus Digital Media, said “We know customers who want a great Google experience on their mobile will love the new HTC Aria. Optus already offers one of the largest ranges of Android-powered devices in Australia and the addition of the dynamic HTC Aria expands this range even further”.
The Aria which is small when compared to other Android phones sold by HTC is 10 cm long and weighs 115g (battery included). It also has Google search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube and access to Android Market and over 80,000 applications.