Taiwan’s HTC Corporation, the world’s fourth largest phone maker, launched its first-ever tablet product – HTC Flyer, to members of the media last Friday. The event was held at the picturesque Sky Bar @ Traders Hotel, where HTC also signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Maxis Berhad that will allow Maxis to continue to be the first telco in Malaysia to exclusively offer existing and up-and-coming HTC smart devices to their customers. While the HTC Flyer took most of the limelight, HTC also launched the new HTC Desire S smartphone.
Jack Tong, Vice President, Asia, HTC Corporation said: “Today marks a new chapter in our relationship with Maxis, one that will aim to bring greater innovation to Malaysia’s smartphone market. We believe that Maxis and HTC will continue to provide innovative services and devices that will enhance the mobile experience for users in Malaysia, and make it a joy to use your smartphone.” Jean-Pascal Van Overbeke, Chief Operating Officer of Maxis signed the MOU with Jack Tong, witnessed by SK Wong, Country Manager of HTC Malaysia and T.Kugan, Vice-President of Product, Device and Innovation, Maxis.
In between getting distracted by the HTC girls in very little clothing, I did get to play with the 7-inch HTC Flyer, running Android Gingerbread OS v2.3. HTC Sense runs on top of Gingerbread and is surprisingly pretty good. Performance is snappy. Although Gingerbread is not optimised for tablets (that’s the job of Honeycomb), HTC has done much tweaking with HTC Sense to make it much more usable. I also got to experience HTC Scribe first hand, which HTC claims will enable users to ‘rediscover the natural act of writing’. There are some innovations there although some of us felt using a stylus is a move backward, where user interaction is concerned.
The HTC Flyer will be available from 12 May 2011 onwards at all Maxis authorised outlets. The first 50 customers who visit Maxis Centre at KLCC will be able to purchase the HTC Flyer at a super special price of RM999. Expect an indecent queue. The HTC Flyer retails at RM2,499. Steep, for a 7-inch tablet.
The HTC Desire S felt more or less the same as the original Desire. Looks even similar to be honest. The same HTC design cues. While powered by a zippier 1GHz Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, the HTC Desire S pretty much retains its form factor with the WVGA 3.7″ display.
The HTC Desire S is exclusive to Maxis and is now available at all Maxis centres and Maxis Exclusive Partners. The flagship smartphone retails at a price of RM1,799 non-contract. Maxis data plans of 500MB, 1.5GB or 3GB packages are available. First impressions of the HTC Flyer in the next post!