iPhone 5c 'disappoints' while HTC lifts the covers on its monster Android

Reports from China (from the C Technology site - translation required) report that Apple has already halved production of the colourful iPhone 5c from 300,000 to 150,000 per day because uptake of what Apple touted as its first phone specifically targeted at emerging markets, had been disappointing.

In fact the 5c is hardly a bargain basement device. The oft-quoted US$99.00 price tag is the 'subsidised' cost of the phone in the US, which means users are paying off the substantial real price in their contracts

In the UK, for instance, the online Apple price for the iPhone 5c is currently £469 and £549 according to memory size. That translates into a contract price of up to £40 or more a month. 3, for instance, is offering unlimited data plans between £37 and £41 with a £49 contract starter up-front; while O2 has a 1 Gig upper limit on data and a ''free" phone for £32 per month. Who would want to pay that sort of money for something touted as an entry-point?

Meanwhile, struggling vendor HTC, has just announced the HTC One Max, a monster of a smartphone with a screen measuring just under 6 inches, impressive solid build, and loads of features, including fingerprint technology which can distinguish its owner's different fingers for different commands. Take that Apple!

HTC, once the early-entrant to the Android ecosystem and quite successful with it, currently seems to have lost its marketing mojo. It launched a minor string of dud phones and now appears to be out of the hunt, despite having what many smartphone aficionados believe to be the best Android (and therefore probably the best smartphone) out there in the HTC One.

But up to now HTC's missteps seem to have blighted its chances with the 'One', which stubbornly refuses to fly off the shelves and fully restore HTC's fortunes... it's hoping the One Max will do the trick.

On screen, it looks as if it should. In addition to the nifty fingerprint, it has an upgrade to HTC's Sense 5.5 UI (which does clever things by stacking content the user might want to 'snack' on). It has simultaneous front and back camera capture (!??) plus HTC's special (and expensively purchased) Boombox technology for sound.

Will it work? Nobody knows, but I've convinced myself so I'm going to buy one.

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