Android gets Tattoo

Android gained further traction on Tuesday as the platform’s biggest cheerleader, Taiwan’s HTC, unveiled what it is pitching as a mass market device – the Tattoo.

The device, which owes its moniker to the fact that it is highly customisable and not because it is covered in ink, will be available in Europe first at the beginning of October, and will roll out in markets around the world in the following months. Pricing has not yet been revealed.

The Tattoo is the second phone to use HTC’s in house designed Sense interface, the first being the Hero. Speaking at the recent launch of the Sense UI, HTC CEO Peter Chou said: “Our strategy with HTC Sense is to allow us to differentiate ourselves, and also to build a closer relationship with people.”

Chou revealed that HTC has spent the last three years covertly developing a ’specialist software team’ to sit alongside its hardware unit. This has brought hundreds of software engineers to the company, which specialises in Windows Mobile and now Android handsets, he said.

“Today we probably have the most Android and Windows Mobile developers outside of Google and Microsoft,” Chou said. “HTC has spent millions of man-hours developing a better HTC-branded software experience that makes all of this simple and engaging to customers.”

Buyers of the Tattoo will also be able to design and purchase their own unique handset covers to alter the physical look of the phone as well. The device includes Google Maps, search, Google Mail, and Android market. It also features a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, 3.5mm stereo headset jack and expandable microSD memory.

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