HTC unveils first 5G smartphone -- U20 5G

Taiwan-based HTC Corp. has unveiled its first 5G smartphone -- the U20 5G -- as telecom operators in Taiwan prepare to launch 5G services this summer.

The U20 5G is the first 5G smartphone model made by a Taiwanese brand, and HTC said it will start to ship the new device in Taiwan in August.

Carrying a price tag of NT$18,990 (US$639), HTC said the U20 will target the high-end and mid-range market segments in the local market, where foreign brands such as Samsung and LG of South Korea and Sony of Japan have launched 5G models priced at more than NT$30,000.

According to HTC, the 6.8-inch U20 5G is powered by Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 765G processor and equipped with a 5,000mAh battery along with 8GB of RAM. It has 256GB of storage, which is expandable.

HTC also launched a mid-range model that will not support 5G applications -- the Desire 20 pro -- which is priced at NT$8,990.

Like the U20, the 6.5-inch Desire 20 pro is equipped with five cameras and powered by a Snapdragon 665 processor along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

HTC CEO Yves Maitre (right) and Darren Chen, head of HTC Taiwan.

HTC CEO Yves Maitre told reporters that the pricing of the U20 5G is aimed at providing consumers the option of a more affordable 5G smartphone.

Maitre said HTC, which has entered the virtual reality business to diversify its sources of revenue, will also take advantage of the presence of the 5G technology to help the development of X Reality or XR, which combines VR, augmented reality and mixed reality.

The arrival of the 5G technology is also expected to strengthen artificial intelligence applications, Maitre said.

Darren Chen, head of HTC Taiwan, said HTC is upbeat about the market acceptance of 5G smartphones because the emerging technology should give consumers new experiences.

He said HTC will work with telecom operators to launch value-added services, such as VR and content, to satisfy the needs of consumers.

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