Mar 28 AT 10:32 AM Anthony Domanico 34 Comments

HTC to make an iPod Touch competitor?

htc patent Image via: Patent Bolt

PatentBolt has gotten their hands on a new HTC device design which indicates that HTC might be working on a competitor to Apple’s iPod Touch. HTC filed a patent back in early 2011 for a “handheld electronic device” which makes no reference to cellular bandwidths, essentially ruling out the possibility of the device being a phone. The patent application was made public just this month.

As you can see from the illustrations, the device would feature complete slide out stereo stereo speakers on the front of the device, making it a multimedia powerhouse. The patent application shows a rear kickstand geared for landscape viewing, perfect for consuming video content. The design is similar to the Windows Phone-based HTC Surround, which came out back in 2010, though it’s clear HTC has gone back to the drawing board with this current device.

HTC would not be the first Android manufacturer to make a standalone multimedia player; Samsung has been selling its Galaxy Player devices for a while now. What we don’t yet know from Samsung is how well these devices are selling, and if they have been able to pull a sizable chunk of users away from Apple’s iPod Touch. With this patent application, HTC clearly hopes it will be able to create the ultimate multimedia consumption device.

Of course, HTC’s device might never see the light of day, as a patent app does not a product make. Still, we like that manufacturers are more open to challenging Apple in areas where Apple has an extremely strong user base. With Android OS found on about 50% of smartphones in the US, more and more users who are tied to Android’s ecosystem would at least consider Android for their next multimedia device. But whether or not standalone media players will continue to thrive in the era of all-in-one smartphones remains to be seen.

What do you think of HTC’s design? Would you buy a standalone HTC media device, or do you want to see HTC bring this technology into its next line of Android smartphones?

htc patent htc patent3 htcpatent2

Source: Patent Bolt

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • RoRo

    ill Buy it for sure

  • westy

    As long as its a powerful device. The itouch is still pretty nice device not lacking too much from its iphone counterpart. I hate the galaxy players, they are typically underpowered and over priced. Hopefully HTC can release a solid device at good price range. I would love to buy one of these for my nephew if the price and value is worth the purchases.

  • spazby

    It should be incorporated into phones, I don’t see myself being an i-pod like product… either phone or at least 7 inch tablet for me

    • westy

      I dont think most users who own a smart phone would get this BUT its a solid tool for a people arent in the market for a smartphone. Plenty of parents dont want to spend hundreds of dollars on a smartphone for their kids to run up the data when they can get them a solid device that offer all of the benefit of a smartphone with out the pricey hardware and increase in cellphone charges.

  • seabass978

    If the price is right I’ll get it for my nephew, if this cost more than the Google tablet then tablet it is for him.

    • westy

      same thing i said

  • Slith

    I want those speakers on my phone. I’m also surprised how much I miss the kickstand on my Thunderbolt!

    • alexanderharri3

      Exactly….those who diss it have never had it. Try skyping on a phone without it! (you’ll be using books, etc to prop it up).

  • Nick Gray

    I don’t think HTC will be getting into the PMP market since Apple is a clear leader and HTC would need to sacrifice its high profit margins to be competitive. I could see HTC use this design patent with some of the upcoming phones and even a smaller tablet.

  • Joel

    Competition is healthy. Lack of variety also contribute to the fact that iPod does so well so I think its wise for OEMs to have a seperate player for media in addition to a phone/tab.
    Not everyone wants to think about a 2 year contract or a high retail price for a new device from their favorite manufacturer.

  • Lee Swanson

    My daughter just got the Samsung Galaxy Player 4 and loves it. I haven’t tried it yet on her SGP4, but Google Voice plus GrooVe IP = VOIP phone. The SGP4 has the same form factor as the Samsung Galaxy including the mic placement.

    I’d like to see what HTC has up its sleeve. I don’t think the PMP market is dead yet, especially with the Teen/Pre-Teen market. They could also be sold as an add on to your home stereo.

  • kwills88

    If the memory and battery is good on this, I can see htc pulling it off, after making the deal with beats audio, this was only a matter of time, though I rather them just make a media focused phone.

  • hinds

    A beats audio centric media player with sick hardware would definately sell coupled with competitive pricing. I’d check it out for sure.

  • androidindia

    Htc + beats + ics = dessert xD

  • WlfHart

    Best of luck to HTC if they decide to enter the ring.

  • awundrin

    I would be interested in this device. My gen 1 iPod Touch is still going strong – use it a lot too. Love the speakers on the HTC. The price has to be right!

  • A

    My girlfriend for Christmas got me a Samsung Galaxy Player 5 inch, and I love the thing. I have found that playing games is that much better than on my Motorola Photon 4G, or even on my old phone the HTC EVO 4G…I have an ipod touch, and ever since I got the Galaxy Player 5 inch, I’ve ignoring the ipod touch, the extra screen size truly makes a difference.

  • bigrob029

    Its a knock out punch that could definitely compete against the iPod touch, all its currents competitors cant seem to get the combo right on hardware, specs, or price. HTC needs to bring some quality hardware with no weird google play limits for around $150. I’d be in, and i think it would be nice competitor in the pmp world.

    what they should do is give them away in a combo pack with their next flagship phone after the htc one…

  • jeff donuts

    no thanks i already have a phone that does this and makes calls

    • jeff donuts

      i fucking love it how u down vote me. u think i care? im a guest for a reason. ive noticed theres alot of whiny pussies on here anyways. u say one bad thing and u get down votes. u guys and ur stupid “ranks”

  • aranea

    If HTC goes that route they will have to come up with a good software to synchronize your computer library to your player. As much as I hate itunes, there are many people out there who love it. Others see it as a necessary evil for the benefits of synchronization. So HTC has to have something simple to use and keeps things organized and also hopefully integrated with Google Music if the player will be successful.

  • finndogg

    The bad thing is that Apple owns that market, and they pretty much kicked the Zune to the curb. I loved my Zune, but let’s face it iPod is the ruler in that department. I personally don’t care for iTunes, but the iPod is solid and the amount of accessories for it are endless. Taking the market is gonna be a hella fight, good luck and hope it is a success.

    • honourbound68

      nod. it’ll be tough to crack that market. having Beats audio will certainly help with the coolness factor for the young’uns especially if it really sounds as good as it can for the price. but please give it a microsd slot (or sd) for more storage. that would really help sell it too.

  • Jake Gall

    Already using my retired HTC Droid Incredible for a multimedia device, and as a standalone device its amazing, so I can imagine what a dedicated multimedia device would bring.

  • Paul Atreides

    Just make it a smartphone and call it the HTC Nexus X.

  • Nathan D.

    I’m sorry but I don’t see the iPod being over thrown just yet, look at Samsung they try but fail. I like android better then apple in many cases but this is one of those times that apple will win but maybe android will win in the long run but for now apple has it in the bag.

  • alastairconroy

    If we are talking about the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps, I would like to mention FriendCaller VoIP here. I use it daily on my iPhone 4S and I m pretty much pleased. You might try as well. This is much comprehensive and packed in one location.

  • Schmidty850

    Very nice. Don’t know if I would buy though b/c I already own an AIO smartphone

  • don

    The chances of HTC competing with the well established Itouch are exactly the same as me winning mega millions ,pretty much zero.HTC maybe a company that wants to be but has hardly a chance against the most established and well known and one of the largest CASH ON HAND company in the world . I own a HTC rezound and to be honest its junk have had more problems with this phone than any other phone I have owned and this is my fourth smart phone. ,I am not pleased with it even though I am a huge android fan , I am also not brand loyal only brand good!HTC never will be a competitor to Apple only in their dreams.Just goes to show how this company should just concentrate on their products and make them much better than they are instead of thinking they can compete with Apple Lord Have Mercy are they messed up, i will never buy another product made by HTC.When I purchased my HTC Rezound and The Samsung Galaxy was coming out with ICS at the same time ,HTC came out and said we will have ICS at the BEGINNING of the year meaning 2012 I purchased my HTC in October ,I have seen nothing heard nothing other than ICS will be available NOW sometime in 2012 kiss my a…Your losers and trying to compete with Apple is such a joke I actually can’t wait to say I told you so !

  • Si

    With the speakers on the middle back you would muffle the sound when holding the device. That doesn’t seem well thought out.

    Seems interesting none the less

  • thomasyjusty

    The features are nice. But I have to read in detail. I think this link helps me to get more info on the features. Good job!!!

  • kaare99

    I’ve got an ipod touch,but i want android. Samsung galaxy player is too much plastic. I hope htc launch this soon

  • Smiller34

    Give it a good battery and some smartphone features and people would buy it, some people don’t use they’re phones in remote places as they have bad battery’s and the price is too much. I would replace my flimsy iPod touch for it as long as it lives up to other htc build quality