HTC to launch new video service phone on Vodafone

LONDON Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:31am EDT

Visitors walk past a HTC sign at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 14, 2011. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Visitors walk past a HTC sign at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 14, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea

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LONDON (Reuters) - Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC unveiled on Tuesday a new handset model that offers a library of movies and TV shows via a wide screen that will be available on the Vodafone network.

The world's fifth-largest smartphone maker unveiled the HTC Sensation phone in London, touting its easy access to content such as movies and more personalized favorites such as photos, updates from social networking sites and stock price changes.

The phone, which will be aimed at the premium end of the market and will compete with Apple's iPhone, will feature HTC Watch, a service that enables users to watch videos from a library of the latest movies and TV shows without having to wait for the content to finish downloading.

The service will offer the choice of renting or buying videos, and, if purchased, lets users watch them on up to five different HTC devices.

The phone will use Google's Android software, which has ended the 10-year reign of Nokia's Symbian as the pre-eminent smartphone platform, and will be available in Europe with Vodafone in the coming months.

HTC, which overtook Nokia in terms of market capitalization last week, has grown strongly in the last year due to its wide range of high-end phones, and Florian Seiche, the president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters he expected that to continue.

"We expect the momentum to continue due to the timing of our launches," he said. "Last year video made up 40 percent of mobile data traffic, and this phone will combine video with our already proven multi-media services."

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Will Waterman)

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