From roughly 2002 to 2007, Danger’s Sidekick phones were the choice for teens and tweens. They were cool, relatively cheap, and focused on messaging. The smartphone market has changed drastically with the introduction of the iPhone, but there hasn’t been a phone that was aggressively targeted towards teens and tweens…until now.
The HTC Status has been officially announced for AT&T and Telus. It’s a Google Android phone with HTC Sense 3.0 and, most importantly, heavy Facebook integration. Here’s some marketing copy and specs from the official Facebook page:
The HTC Status lets you share pretty much everything with just about everyone, instantly. It’s the first-ever device with a Facebook Share Button. Now, you can share videos, chats, check-ins, sites and songs with your friends on Facebook at the push of a button. And with new music, new videos, group deals and live events to share with you all summer long, it’s the most outgoing phone in the social universe.
Platform: Android™ 2.3 + HTC Sense™
Display: 2.6-inch touch screen with 480 x 320 resolution
Network: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900
Memory: 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
Processor: MSM7227, 800 MHz
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 1250 mAh
Camera: 5 MP main camera with autofocus, 1.3 MP front-facing camera
On paper, it seems like a brilliant idea. The Status should be a relatively inexpensive phone that combines a capable mobile operating system, fashionable hardware, and the most popular social network in the world. That said, I wonder if the target market even wants such a phone. The Android and iOS apps for Facebook are already quite capable. Is more Facebook integration really required or needed? Would a teen on a budget rather have the HTC Status or last year’s iPhone model?
Of course I’d love to get your thoughts on the HTC Status. Do you think it will take off? Will it be this decade’s Sidekick? Or will teens and tweens be content with slightly older Android and iOS products that already have strong Facebook options?