Friday, January 21, 2011

Spice Mi-310

Spice Mobility seems to be gearing up to launch a slightly “upped” version of the Spice Mi-300. We did some online searching and found some interesting stuff. Follow us beyond the break for the currently official specs and our thoughts on this little phone, and yes, our thoughts on HTC’s involvement in this.

Currently, all we have to go on is that relatively small pic at the start of this post, and the following specifications:

* Android 2.2 (Froyo)

* HSDPA

* 8 cm (3.1 inch) capacitive touchscreen

* Wi-Fi and GPS

* A 2 MP camera at the rear

* Trackpad for navigation, apart from the four capacitive touch buttons

We found the device lurking at the Upcoming Models section of the Spice website – here. We scoured the web for more details, and there are websites which are stating a little more specs and a tentative price of about Rs. 9000/-, but nothing is official yet.

One thing that filled us with intrigue is the capacitive touch buttons at the bottom of the Mi-310; especially, the curved back button looked extremely familiar. Take a look at the picture below.

HTC Desire Z

Don’t they look the same? Pay attention to the house-shaped label for Home, the MENU label for Menu, the curved arrow label for Back and the characteristic magnifying glass label for the Search button. Before you start getting all worked up and screaming – FOUL! – let’s look at a few facts:

* Android handsets (and devices) have widely varying button layouts and labels. No two manufacturers use the same set. For a glimpse into this scene, take a look below at Engadget’s image used in their article to visualize Android fragmentation.

Visualized - Android Fragmentation (Engadget)

* Remember that HTC began as an Original Device Manufacturer first, and was making mobile devices for many companies worldwide, including a few of the first Compaq iPAQ Handhelds which were wildly popular nearly a decade ago.

* Add to this the fact that Spice purchased Newtel (PDF link), one of Thailand’s handset manufacturers, for a cool US$ 22 million (about Rs. 100 Crore) back in December – which shows that Spice has the money to strike deals of great magnitude

* Finally, the existing Mi-300 is a device that provides amazing value for money – but it’s lacklustre launch has shaken the company up a bit – the Mi-410 which was to have released a month or two ago has still not showed up, and all signs of the handset have been removed from the Spice website. We’d figure that this is a prime motivation for a change in strategy.

Put all these things together – and you have the very big possibility that Spice has struck a deal with HTC to manufacture atleast this one phone – the Mi-310. That is a very good thing for the Indian consumer. If we can get HTC-built devices at Spice Mobility’s prices, with Google’s Android Operating System loaded on top – that’s a consumer dream. Perhaps, it’ll become a reality.

Of course, much of this is speculation – nothing is officially confirmed as of now. Feel free to chime in the comments below with your thoughts. Spice + HTC = possible or not at all?

4 comments:

Vivek said...

Look of the handset also reveals the same sense of HTC. If it is so then it will be the best offering from Spice.

The Indian Geek said...

Thank you, Vivek.

Yes, if this is truly built by HTC and sold by Spice, then it'll be a killer deal.

Spice has released the price and the detailed specs - it's Rs. 8,999/- (http://www.spiceglobal.com/SpiceMobiles/Model.aspx?id=187)

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