Today is the second and last day of Qualcomm's Uplinq conference in San Diego California, but we've still got a bunch in store. This morning, we sat down at the keynote and listened to HTC CEO Peter Chou talk about where HTC has been, its plans for the future, and make an announcement about HTC Sense development. After that was Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who outlined a five step plan for carving out its own mobile ecosystem in a joint partnership with Microsoft. 

First up was HTC CEO Peter Chou, who started by taking a look at HTC's history in mobile and gave a very high level tour of a number of very popular devices. Devices like the first iPaq, the HTC Universal, HTC Touch, HTC G1, and HTC EVO were given as key landmark devices in the history of HTC since its first devices in 1999. 

The emphasis everyone has placed on the mobile revolution message is that growth isn't slowing down, it's accelerating. 

Peter reiterated some stats - in 2010, HTC shipped 25 million smartphones, and in the first quarter of 2011 shipped 9.7 million smartphones. HTC claims it is the top five smartphone brand in the world, and in some markets number two and three. Just like Paul yesteday, Peter reiterated that mobile is becoming a lifestyle and contributing to societal change, a definite allusion to recent social events in Egypt. 

The next major topic was HTC Sense. HTC believes strongly that its Sense UI is more than just a skin and contributes to class leading user friendliness, that makes it more intuitive and contributes to the overall holistic experience. That's something I think a majority of enthusiasts would disagree with, but for the vast majority of the market, there's something to be said for Sense. As an aside, we'd like to see a toggle to disable or enable Sense for users. 

Peter talked about what's different in the new Sense UI. Revamped smoother animations and a completely different lock screen with at-a-glance information are the two major features. The idea behind the new lock screen is very similar to the WP7 glanceable information paradigm, namely that the most frequently accessed quick information should be presentable without having to dive into applications and then back out. 

HTC and OnLive entered into a partnership earlier this year, and showed off a video of the HTC Flyer working as a thin client for the mobile gaming platform. It wasn't stated whether the latency being shown in the video was the result of the Flyer being connected over WiFi or cellular connectivity, where there's considerably more latency. 

 

Though HTC has had one of the most active Android lineups, starting with their release of the first ever Android phone, the G1, Peter reiterated that HTC remains committed to Windows Phone 7. Though HTC has become a top Android vendor in the US, it's important to give users choice and have a diverse OS portfolio if you're in the handset manufacture business.

Microsoft and HTC go way back to the original Pocket PC and later Windows Mobile days, and it's clear that the relationship hasn't taken a back seat. 

The real news out of Peter's keynote was the announcement of HTC Dev. HTC Dev is - as the name implies - HTC's own developer platform, and enables Android developers to build applications and experiences tailored for HTC Sense enabled phones. HTC OpenSense is the SDK which will allow developers to integrate into the Sense UI framework and deliver a Sense look and feel in applications, to maintain consistency, and also do things like access the Sense APIs for contact management, social feeds, and similar.

On the hardware side of things, OpenSense gives developers a common platform for accessing hardware that's unique to HTC devices, for example the HTC Flyer's tablet pen. HTC Dev isn't launched yet, but users can sign up to be notified and see a brief overview of the whole program, here. HTC gave examples of Linked-in building a contact merge application using OpenSense, and Picassa building tying into Sense's gallery all using Sense APIs. In addition, a third party HTC Flyer application leveraging the pen was shown off. As an aside, I'd love to see Microsoft port OneNote to HTC Flyer or other active digitizer/styli Android tablets. 

HTC was scant on any more detail about what all will be possible with both the OpenSense SDK through HTC Dev, but no doubt we'll find out more closer to its launch. 

Keynote 2: Nokia CEO Stephen Elop
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  • Ikefu - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I have to say I'm becoming more and more intrigued by WP7. I like their development package (now merged with XNA) and have been toying with doing some app development for personal use.

    But, when do we see the first Nokia WP7 hardware? Do we have any tentative dates yet?
    Reply
  • TIGGAH - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I read early 2012 but there are lots of different time lines going around. There are plenty of great wp7 phones out right now though. I have the Focus and it has the highest customer satisfaction rate of any phone on the market right now. It's an awesome phone. Reply
  • bk212 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Elop has said multiple times that they are confident first WP7 devices in 2011 Q4. He carries a prototype WP7 with him. Reply
  • boe - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Actually you got one of the few decent ones. Most have a small screen or small battery or are bulky.

    I'll be happy when I can get something with a big screen, large capacity battery (e.g. 1600 mah or larger) in a SLIM design. Frankly I'd love something with the screen, battery, and depth specs of a high end Android phone - wouldn't mind the ability to turn on 4G for when I tether either. They didn't need to release WP7 on crap hardware the first time around. They could have just said you can turn on 4G when mango is released.
    Reply
  • Xenon14 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Nokia has a nice Power Point presentation, but it's missing one slide. The one that explains why me, or anyone else, is going to buy phones running their software vs Android or iOS. Reply
  • bk212 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Office, One Note, Office 365 and Skydrive, Outlook with Lync and Skype Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Who cares? They're trying to sell advanced *connected* *mobile devices*.

    You want to edit a Word or a Powerpoint document on that? That didn't roll too well back in the Palm days but now it's even more irrelevant.

    With their cloud services Microsoft will have to be very careful to provide other OS support because otherwise they will take a huge hit themselves; they're simply not in a position to demand OSes in this particular case and sensitive markets will not pay for expensive upgrades if they have to take the risk and pay the price to switch many other systems at the same time. At the moment Outlook for example works just fine with iOS. If they wanted to loose a lot of their well paid for Skype customer base as quickly as possible they'd better drop other OS support right away. ;)

    WP7 just has no real relevance in this world yet and they'll have to work very hard to achieve some -- if it will be possible at all...
    Reply
  • bk212 - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Nice Office apps and integration with Sharepoint is a bad thing??
    Not sure why people take these things so personally. Light editing of Office documents on your phone is a handy feature. You can't be at a computer 24/7.
    Windows Phone is a good platform. Don't understand the hostility here. Read the user reviews on Amazon, Sprint or Verizon.
    Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I deepliy dislike Elop and if M$ does end up buing Nokia we know what his job was as CEO.
    The guy decided to go for the riskiest option,new OS without market share that lacks many things made by a very slow giant (that's also afraid to innovate) and then commited suicide by actually announcing it before having devices ready.Now Nokia is falling a lot faster than it would have if the deal was not made public and if WP fails they got no back up plan since they will lack the resources to restart developing Symbuian and MeeGo.
    It would be very hard to do things worse than he did.

    @prev comments :the first WP device(s) should show up in Q4 check Nokia's latest press releases (the one about cutting outlook published a few days ago).

    @ Brian Klug "which possibly puts to rest the rumor that Nokia will be using ST-E SoCs in its WP7 devices " I'm not gona go looking for links to provide proof but they should be using ST-E in a second wave of devices in Q1-Q2 next year,while the first devices should be on Qualcomm.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    "I'm not gona go looking for links to provide proof but they should be using ST-E in a second wave of devices in Q1-Q2 next year,while the first devices should be on Qualcomm."

    That's actually an interesting idea, and perhaps after Mango the WP7 team will afford Nokia some liberty to move onto a different SoC vendor, I'd definitely buy a rumor that they'll start with Snapdragon and move to ST-E later over them launching with ST-E. Very interesting.

    -Brian
    Reply

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