HTC and Tata DOCOMO launch new smartphone ChaCha

HTC Corporation and Tata DOCOMO have launched HTC ChaCha,
the newest smartphone from HTC, in India. The phone is priced at Rs 15,990. It
is available at HTC reseller outfits across the country, and is available in
colours of white, purple and black.


A feature-rich smartphone, ChaCha has a 2.6 inch, 480 x
320 resolution landscape touch screen with full QUERTY keypad, works on the
latest Android operating system and has a 5 MP color camera with auto focus and
LED flash. The phone is also equipped with a VGA front-facing camera.


The most compelling feature of the phone is the
integrated Facebook key – which is a first in the smartphone industry. The
one-touch access to Facebook service has been integrated throughout the HTC
Sense experience. The Facebook button on HTC ChaCha is context-aware, with
options to share content or updates through Facebook with a single press of the
button, located at the bottom of the handset.


One can update status, upload a photo, share a website,
post a song while listening to it, ‘check in’ to a location and more through
the dedicated Facebook button. For example, one can take a photograph on the
phone and upload it instantly to Facebook by simply pressing the ‘f’
button.  o share a song or news from a website also, one has to simply
click the Facebook button while on the track/website, and it is automatically
identified and shared on Facebook.


One can also chat with multiple friends on Facebook,
using the Facebook Chat option. The Facebook messages and conversations appear
as text messages, making it simpler for one to read and browse through them.
Besides this, the latest updates from one’s Facebook account are also displayed
right on the home screen. One can also use the phone’s existing contacts to
help connect with them on Facebook or personalize the handset further.


We announced our co-operation with Facebook at the GSM
World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, and with this integration, we
are taking this partnership forward. India is also adapting to sharing on the
go twice as much as developed nations, and is currently the number three
Facebook country in the world, with 30 million Facebook users, out of the total
number of 250 million users worldwide who use Facebook on the mobile.
Smartphone usage is also catching up side-by-side here, and HTC’s mission is to
get everyone to use a smartphone in India, and therefore offer it at an
affordable price. We also found that Facebook was the most extensively used
social networking platform in South Asia, and hence came up with the idea of a
Facebook integrated key. As of now, we have not thought of introducing other
popular social networking keys like Twitter and LinkedIn on the HTC
handsets,” said Lennard Hoornik, president, South Asia Pacific, HTC Corporation.


We launched GSM services in 2009, and now have extended
our reach to all our circles in India. According to me, 3G is all about an
ecosystem of operators, app providers like FB, device manufacturers and content
providers. Our current internet penetration also provides a lot of scope for
smartphone penetration in this market. Devices are an important element of the
entire 3G ecosystem to drive penetration and increase the adoption of 3G
services. Tata DOCOMO partners with various smart phone handset makers and is
taking a conscious leap in co-promotion that is not only affordable but
in-built with rich features and capabilities. In the recent past we launched
HTC Desire and HTC Mozart for Tata DOCOMO customers across our circles of
operation and going forward will continue to work together to bring innovative
valued based products and services on the GSM platform,” said Sunil Tandon,
Head – Mobility Services & Devices Management, Tata Teleservices.


As a special offer for Tata DOCOMO prepaid and postpaid
customers who buy the new HTC ChaCha handset, Tata DOCOMO is offering a limited
period free data and calling plan for 2G and 3G. Under the bundle offer, Tata
DOCOMO 3G prepaid customers can avail 3GB free data valid for a period of 90
days, whereas 1GB free data is offered free each month to postpaid customers
across all 3G circles valid for 90 days. All 3G customers will also get 3 hours
of free Mobile TV that includes data access charges valid for 90 days. Tata
DOCOMO 2G prepaid customers can avail 3GB free data and 300 Tata to Tata local
calling valid for a period of 90 days, whereas 1GB free data and 100 minutes
Tata to Tata calling is offered free each month for 3 months to postpaid
customers across all 2G circles.


The HTC ChaCha handset was launched two weeks ago in
Singapore, and after the India launch, the handset will be steadily launched
across South Asia. According to the HTC spokesperson, HTC may look at other
partners beside Tata DOCOMO to promote the phone in the future, but as of now
the handset manufacturer is upbeat about Tata DOCOMO’s special data plan, since
data is the crucial focus for HTC smartphones worldwide.


By Beryl M
[email protected]