Sprint to launch HTC Touch Diamond next week

Sprint to launch HTC Touch Diamond next week

Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to unveil the HTC Corp. Touch Diamond and the HTC Touch Pro, both running the new Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, on Wednesday at the CTIA trade show in San Francisco, according to news reports.

HTC announced the Diamond in May, noting its capability for 3G networks, and shipped the device in Europe and parts of Asia, according to Microsoft officials. Next week's launch would be its first appearance in the U.S.

The actual shipping date and other details about cost and specifications were not discussed by Sprint, although news reports have put the cost of the Diamond at US$250 after a $100 rebate, with a two-year contract.

Some reviews have called the Diamond a competitor to Apple Inc.'s iPhone, primarily for its touch-screen capability. The screen is 2.8 inches, smaller than the 3.5 inch iPhone, and the Diamond has haptics technology to give the user tactile feedback (a slight buzz) when a touch is made. It measures 4 x 2 x .6 inches and weights 4.1 ounces.

But one early review by The Wall Street Journal's Katherine Boerhret notes that the real success of the iPhone is the software, and not the touch screen. But she said the Diamond suffers from the "frustrating interface of Windows Mobile" and said even its touch capabilities "didn't work as well as they should."

The Diamond's browser is based on the Opera browsing engine, and Web sites opened with the Diamond don't appear the same as they would on a PC, a feature allowed with the iPhone, Boerhret noted.

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