HTC's Big-Screen HD2 Set For U.S. Debut In Early 2010


HTC Wednesday confirmed that its big-screen HD2 phone will see a U.S. debut in 2010. Already shipping in Europe and Taiwan, the phone will be annnounced with a major U.S. carrier -- unnamed as of yet -- early next year.

HTC CEO Peter Chou made the announcement at a news conference in Taiwan where he was joined by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Taiwan Mobile CEO Harvey Chang. In addition to its curious size -- a large 4.3-inch touch screen but only 1mm thick -- the HD2 is a Windows Mobile phone and is the first Windows Mobile phone to use HTC Sense, a capacitive touch display that according to HTC makes viewing Web sites, zooming in and out, typing and other on-screen functions much more user-friendly.

HTC didn't confirm which version of Windows Mobile the HD2 runs.

"The HD2's amazing customer experience is a testament to the close partnership between HTC and Microsoft, and we're excited to be bringing the HD2 to Taiwan and the United States," Chou said in a statement.

"Working with HTC, we've delivered great phones that help customers connect to the people and information they care about, wherever they are," added Ballmer in a statement. "The HTC HD2 shows what's possible through our close partnership with HTC and it breaks new ground for Windows phones by delivering a beautiful multitouch screen that people will love."

The HD2's most noticeable feature is its jumbo screen; most smartphone screens, including those of popular models like the iPhone, are in the 3.5-inch range. It also has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, a 5-megapixel camera, GPS, a microSD memory card slot, 448 MB of RAM, and can support Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.1.

The HD2's U.S. carrier (or carriers) hasn't been confirmed yet, but as T-Mobile blog TMONews reported, the HD2 has been previously mentioned in some leaked development documents from T-Mobile.

Bringing the HD2 to the U.S. in the new year is probably a wise move for HTC. The fall smartphone season is already a crowded one, thanks to scores of new handsets, both HTC and otherwise.