3D EVO-lution: HTC announces 3D-enabled smartphone coming to Europe in August
Amid the gala event that was HTC’s opening of its EMEA headquarters today, the company announced its EVO 3D smartphone – recently launched in the US – would be winging its way to Europe in August. Both events are indicators of the importance of this market to the company, with Florian Scheide, President of HTC EMEA, noting that the company now has a 20% share of the smartphone market in the UK – one which he says is the largest in Europe. Phil Blair, VP of Products & Services announced the launch of the company’s newest device in the region, a 3D-enabled smartphone, only the second of its kind in Europe. The EVO 3D enables the capturing of 2D and 3D still pictures or video via a dual-camera, which can be viewed on the device without the need for glasses. He noted that this technology is now familiar to consumers through films such as Avatar, and that HTC’s customers saw the company as an “innovator”, and therefore expected it to provide this kind of technology within its devices. There is a case to say that this kind of device will sell itself: owners will serve as promoters of the device by ‘showing-off’ to their family, friends and colleagues. The addition of 3D to the device certainly provides a ‘wow-factor’, something which is important in an increasingly crowded market for high-end smartphones: many vendors now have more than one device with a minimum of a 1GHz processor, 4 inch display, 5.0 MP camera, etc. and new ‘killer’ features are needed to make a product stand-out. Several factors will determine the speed of 3G smartphone adoption though: the adoption of other 3D-enabled devices, such as televisions and PC monitors will create a ‘3D culture’, and also enable viewing and sharing of 3D content; whether mobile games developers take advantage of its inclusion and create products of sufficient quality to attract consumer attention; and, to what extent MNOs promote this type of device. Our forthcoming research will have more to say on this technology with regards to smartphones, but with devices such as the EVO 3D launching across a number of markets, we believe it has significant potential given the position of 3D technology in the consumer conscience, the increasingly crowded marketplace for smartphones and the need for vendors to add new technologies which distinguish their products from the competition.