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HTC MyTouch 3G Set To Join Smartphone Showdown

CRN Staff

According to TmoNews and TmoToday, two popular T-Mobile news sites, HTC is launching the MyTouch 3G and the Touch Pro2 on T-Mobile later this year, with the Google Android HTC MyTouch 3G, also known as the HTC Magic, hitting stores soon. TmoToday indicated that the MyTouch 3G will hit T-Mobile stores in mid-July at the latest, carrying a price tag of $180.

The HTC Touch Pro2, a Microsoft Windows Mobile-based touch screen, would follow later in the year.

The July MyTouch 3G release will come on the heels of a host of hot news from its competitors. So far, Research In Motion is expected to have one, possibly two, new BlackBerry models on the market by summer—the BlackBerry Gemini and BlackBerry Niagara, while Palm is slated to have the long-awaited Palm Pre smartphone in users' hands within the first half of this year.

There is also wide speculation that Apple will release the follow-up to its widely popular Apple iPhone 3G this spring or summer, possibly as soon as its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The spring and summer smartphone showdown will be the first major face-off of the year between device makers, following up on last year's clash of the touch-screen titans when the BlackBerry Storm, T-Mobile G1 and Apple iPhone 3G duked it out for smartphone supremacy.

While not all release dates are clear, it's shaping up to be an exciting year for smartphone buyers, at a time when the market could use a boost. Smartphone sales, while still slightly on the rise, have hit a plateau as of late due to the rough economy.

It's also still too early to predict which device will come out the victor among the new models. The BlackBerry has proven its worth of late, overthrowing the iPhone as the top-selling consumer smartphone in the first quarter with the BlackBerry Curve. But a new iPhone is sure to recapture the luster that has died down slightly since the Apple iPhone 3G's release last July.

And HTC can't be dismissed. The HTC-built T-Mobile G1, the first device released into the market built on the Google Android mobile operating system, has swiftly sold 1 million units, boosting HTC's visibility in the U.S. Following up the G1 with the MyTouch 3G could be the catalyst HTC needs to win over U.S. smartphone buyers, similar to the way it has in other parts of the world.

All eyes are also on the Palm Pre, the first smartphone to feature Palm's new webOS operating system and the smartphone that Palm is hoping will reinvigorate its slumping device business. Analysts have recently predicted that the Palm Pre will miss the mark, but the smartphone has garnered enough hype since it was announced at CES in January that sales are sure to be brisk, despite its exclusivity with Sprint.

With just a couple of months before the battle starts in earnest, it appears that HTC, RIM, Palm and Apple are going to fight a heated battle for smartphone supremacy later this year.

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