SoftBank Mobile and HTC Corp. held a press conference at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo today to annouce 14 October as roll-out date for HTC’s X01HT smartphone which is compatible with the carrier’s new high-speed HSDPA 3.5G network. SoftBank also confirmed their new dual-flat-rate pricing plan offer of unlimited data usage for 9,800jpy per month with a limited time trial offer of 5,700jpy until January 2007. We have video here of the same unit at DoCoMo’s booth during the Wireless Japan 2006 trade show in July.
The two major advantages to SoftBank’s offering, compared to DoCoMo’s, are:
- HSDPA speed (at least in greater Tokyo area for starters)
- Flat-rate billing plan
… neither of which are available with DoCoMo’s package.
It seems quite clear this device will be much more popular than the Blackberry based on the simple fact that it has Kanji character input; however, it would be nice to see future versions include FeliCa chips (Osaifu-ketai – mobile wallet) and a 1-Seg digital tv tuner.
– The Eds