HTC, Samsung race for first LTE smartphone

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HTC, Samsung race for first LTE smartphone

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless  |   December 16, 2010
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The Android smartphone race is increasingly focused on a two-way battle between HTC and Samsung, and they have shifted their rivalry to LTE.
 
Samsung has already created an LTE featurephone for MetroPCS and is tipped to follow up with a full smartphone in the first half of next year, but HTC is also planning a 2011 launch.
 
This shows LTE handsets coming to market well ahead of expectations, and the two vendors will be particularly keen to gain the initial slot at Verizon Wireless, given the high profile that first movers get in the US. HTC benefited from having the first with Android device at T-Mobile, Motorola with the first Droid device at Verizon, and HTC again with the first Wimax smartphone at Sprint.
 
In all these cases, Samsung has been too late into the open smartphone sector to claim first prize, but is catching up fast with Galaxy S.
 
HTC and Motorola - and outside the US, Sony Ericsson - need to move quickly to fend off the Korean giant's Android attack, while LG could come up behind too.
 
HTC is turning its rapid design cycle to LTE, with CEO Peter Chou telling Mobile World Live that the first devices would be ready next year.
 
“We think that the US mobile operators will be taking the lead and pushing 4G LTE in the US market... We are working on LTE devices for next year,” he said in a video interview.
 
He added that the vendor would continue to focus on Android and Windows Phone 7, as part of a “portfolio strategy” aimed at offering consumers a wide choice.
 
They “may want Windows or Android; or they may want big screen or small screen, they may want keyboard or tablet; HTC will let the consumer decide,” Chou said.
Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless

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