O2 is to exclusively range the HTC smart, a mid-tier smartphone powered by Brew in the UK, Ireland and Germany in April.
The Smart, which integrates HTC Sense and Qualcomm’s operating system will be “half the price of existing smartphones today”, claimed O2 general manager of devices Steve Alder.
The device is part of HTC’s strategy to offer smartphones to a mass audience and said the device will be pitched to the youth market and first-time smartphone users.
HTC executive director of UK and Ireland Jon French said: “The Smart is the first simple smartphone which is positioned at a lower price point in the market.
“HTC never wanted to manufacture a feature phone with a touchscreen because customers want a much richer experience. The Smart is well positioned between a feature phone and a smartphone in terms of functionality and affordability.”
Telefónica Europe chief executive Matthew Key said: “This is a key move in our ability to bring smartphones to a far wider cross section of the population.
“The benefits of web browsing on the move and ability to experience applications like mobile social networking will now be brought to the mass market and reinforces O2’s position as the home of the smartphone.”
Sense will also be available in Italy with Telecom Italia, Norway with Netcom and across Europe through the direct channel.