HTC Lining Up “iPod Killer” ?

While mobile phone manufacturers fall over themselves in a bid to outperform (and, more importantly, outsell) the iPhone, one such phone producer is targeting one of the California tech giants’ other products for a new wave of competition.

It emerged this week that Taiwanese mobile majors HTC had applied for a patent to produce a multimedia player with what some might take to be an approximate look and feel of an iPod Touch device – the latest iteration of Apple’s iPod line.

The patent, published by the US Patent and Trademark Office this month after the original application was made over a year ago, appears to feature an inbuilt kickstand for placement on a desktop, as well as speakers on the front and rear, placed in such a way as to require no “hard” button on the device. It is this detail that has led many to suggest that it will be powered by Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich, which requires only software keys.

Most tellingly as to its purpose and intended target audience, the new prospective device is to be Wi-Fi only; without a mention of 3G or other such connectivity, this is a strong hint that the media functions won’t be incorporated into a smartphone.

Since Google’s overhaul of the Android Market, rebranding it Google Play, tech experts also theorise that this device would be purpose-built for downloading games, e-books and even music; HTC’s exclusive licence for Beats Audio technology could also be a telling sign of what is to come.

There’s certainly a long way to go before the market sees the likes of this device, however, only time will tell if HTC can succeed where others failed; in beating Apple at its own game.

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