Leak: HTC's New Android Targets Global Business Travelers

FCC documents confirm CDMA and GSM support on an upcoming Verizon 'world phone' slider with keyboard.

An upcoming Android-powered phone from HTC and Verizon will support both CDMA and GSM, according to documents leaked in the past few days by the Federal Communications Commission.

As a result, the HTC PD42100 will likely be what's known as a "world phone," since its support for both standards will effectively allow it to operate anywhere on the planet. Users of the new device will be able to tap the CDMA network in the United States, for example, yet they'll also be able to piggyback off of regional and national GSM carriers in other parts of the world.

Also supported by the device will be EV-DO Rev. A 3G, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n/), and Bluetooth, according to the leaked documents. Taken together, such broad support could make the device an ideal one for business travelers.

Android 3.0?

Following a similar leak last month about what appears to be the same phone, the FCC documents also reveal a horizontal slider form factor combined with a full QWERTY keyboard.

With a 4-inch touch screen, the new, red handset looks to be a big one, and Verizon Wireless branding is visible. It also appears to feature a rear-facing camera with single-LED flash, a removable battery and microSD memory expansion capability.

Previous rumors have suggested that the device will feature a 1.2 GHz processor along with Android as the operating system. Which Android version will be used isn't clear, but given that the device isn't expected until early next year, Android 3.0, or "Gingerbread"--which is due in October-- doesn't seem out of the question.

Though it appears to have passed FCC testing, there's been no mention of pricing on the device so far.

International Roaming

HTC has already enjoyed considerable success with its Android-powered EVO 4G, Droid Incredible, Desire and Google-branded Nexus One.

Its alignment with Google's Android, in fact, helped the company achieve 33 per cent year-over-year growth recently, including the second-quarter net profits of $US269 million it reported in July.

With the new PD42100 device, however, the company seems to be focusing squarely on global business travelers. By using a device that can roam internationally, travelers would no longer need to rent a mobile phone in the countries they visit.

Research in Motion's enterprise-focused BlackBerry device also supports global roaming.

Android on Top

Android, however, is quickly gaining ground in the mobile operating system arena. The Linux-based platform grew by close to 20 per cent over the past year, according to market researcher Quantcast, accounting for 25 percent of mobile Web consumption by the end of August.

Research in Motion's operating system, by contrast, fell by 1.6 per cent in the past year, while Apple's iOS fell by 11.4 per cent.

Analyst firm Piper Jaffray, in fact, expects Android to control more than half of the smartphone market within the next five years, leaving Apple's iPhone with between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.

Besides contributing to that growth, an Android-powered world phone could also further spur the Android Market, since developers could find a much broader reach for their applications. There are currently more than 100,000 apps in the Android Market.

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Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
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