We take a look at the new king of the smartphone, HTC

Founded back in 1997, HTC (which used to stand for High Tech Computer Corporation, although it is no longer referred to as anything more than simply HTC) is the Taiwanese company taking the smartphone industry by storm.

The company was originally set up with the aim of creating custom phones for wireless network providers, rather than building handsets with their own branding for mass distribution. In the earlier days their phones were created to use Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, but 2009 saw a shift towards Google's Android operating system.

Since then, HTC have become major players in the market. Their phones, which include the HTC Hero, HTC Desire and HTC Mecha, have quickly gained a reputation for being well ahead of the curve both technically and in terms of features offered.

Their adoption of Android as their primary operating system has led to HTC joining the Open Handset Alliance which is a group of developers, manufacturers and wireless network providers who aim to continue the improvement of the Android system and its integration on networks throughout the world.

Things have not all been smooth sailing for HTC though, and in 2010 Apple filed an official complaint against the company claiming that HTC had infringed upon its copyright by using 20 Apple patents in its devices without consent. HTC denied this claim, and hit back with a similar complaint against the American company for 5 of its patents. These cases remain ongoing, but it doesn't look like either side will succeed in disrupting the other enough to gain any more of a foothold on the market.

If you're looking for a high end smartphone, HTC have definitely established themselves as the main alternative to Apple, and although many other companies are now learning to extract the maximum potential from the Android operating system they have a lot of work ahead of themselves if they want to catch up with HTC.

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