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HTC was one the later additions to the smartphone market, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead what it allowed for was perspective and a lot of time to create a concept that was refined and far ahead of the competition. Its history in manufacturing business phones meant that it had experience of producing portable and powerful products. So, when it acquired a relatively small smartphone manufacturer in 2007, shortly after the release of Apple’s iPhone, HTC set their sights on the touchscreen smartphone market. When they eventually released their first android smartphone in 2008 – the HTC Dream, everybody stopped in their tracks and had a rethink. It was game changing. It was the first time since the Apple’s release that anyone had taken any other smartphone device seriously as an alternative. Moreover, its slide out keyboard design meant that for the time it made far more sense for typing out long e-mails, which also made it a viable competitor to the Blackberry as a business phone. HTC then took note from the success of the Dream and produced what it openly touted as a direct competitor to the iPhone 3G. The HTC Hero really shook up the market, it was HTC’s first phone with its signature HTC Sense Android overlay, it took a lot of design cues from Apple’s iOS. With a modular home screen and customisable UI it became a staple of the Android war against Apple (fun fact: One of Zapper’s staff still has one!).
From that point on, HTC became a leader in pushing the boundaries with smartphone technology, hosting a list of world firsts that any other brand would be jealous of:
- Worlds first touch centric smartphone – HTC Touch
- Worlds first Android OS smartphone – HTC Dream
- Worlds first 4G Android smartphone – HTC Evo 4G
- Worlds first metal body smartphone – HTC One
- Worlds first autofocusing dual-lens smartphone camera- HTC One M8
- Worlds first front and rear optical image stabilisation- HTC 10