The HTC J smartphone for Japanese operator KDDI will include One-Seg mobile TV service, nationwide WiMAX access and cute emails.
The handset, slated for late May availability, uses Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and shares basic specs with the HTC One S model, which features Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in storage. The handset includes advanced audio and video technologies, including Beats Audio.
The new smartphone is unique in that it adds WiMAX capability and includes features Japanese customers expect, such as a mobile wallet and an integrated tuner for Japan's One-Seg mobile TV. It also supports the "Deco-mail" specification for decorative emails, which are favored in Japan. KDDI will offer the handset in three color versions: black, black with red and all white.
HTC and KDDI announced a partnership at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, though they have worked together before. In February 2011, HTC and KDDI unveiled the HTC Evo WiMAX smartphone, which was a modified version of the original HTC EVO 4G smartphone introduced in the United States by Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) during 2010.
Though Sprint has said it will no longer offer new WiMAX devices because it is shifting its focus to LTE, its sub-brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA are reported to be planning entries into the WiMAX arena. Sprint and HTC have had a strong partnership, so it is feasible that a U.S. version of the HTC J smartphone with WiMAX capability might eventually make its way into the inventories at Boost and Virgin.
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