Meraj Chhaya over at PhoneReport had a very interesting sit down with Kevin Chen, a general manager at HTC during the Touch Diamond release in South Africa.
First of all, Mr. Chen stated that HTC is going to have an Android based device released before the end of 2008 but refused to give out any details of the nature of the device or clues about what features to expect. Both the date and the reticence is pretty consistent with all I have heard about Android thus far. Google is clearly hoping to pull a Steve Jobs-style rabbit out of their hat when they finally release, only without all the leaks. This one frankly goes into my “believe it when I see it” file, especially as I have a feeling that Android’s release will end up being something of a non event…more like Symbian then iPhone and therefore not sexy enough to catch the US consumer market’s attention.
The big news, as far as I am concerned, is that Chen has stated that HTC WILL have a Windows Mobile 7 device out in Q1 of 2009. This is consistent with the leaked HTC roadmap saying a WinMo device will be announced by the end of 2008. Of course, no details about the device but HTC devices are the hottest WinMo phones in Europe and Asia bar none, so expect something impressive with a definite ready-for-business feel to it.
Do I believe it? Yes, I do. Q1 09 would be the perfect time for Windows to shake things up with a major step forward in Mobile Software. The 3G iPhone buzz will have died down and the next iPhone feeding frenzy will be a few months away at least, so the stage will be Window’s to take. Also, if ANYONE is going to come out with a hot, early WinMo 7 device, it will be HTC.
I am excited to see what they come up with for this major milestone in the WinMo roadmap.