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Is HTC Committing Commercial Suicide With The Desire C?

To say that the HTC Desire C is a bit of a mystery is an understatement. The handset, which was released last week, is the followup to the HTC Wildfire S but rather than adopting the same moniker, chose to ride the coat of HTC's more popular range, the Desire.

But what puzzles us most is the fact that HTC, which is facing some serious competition at the lower end of the market, chose to introduce this entry level handset at around £190 (SIM Free). That is expensive, very expensive.

The Desire C comes with a 600MHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB onboard storage, a 3.5in HVGA screen, a five megapixel camera, 25GB onboard storage and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Now compare that to the Huawei Ascend G300 which was launched earlier last month. The phone - which is exclusively available on Vodafone - costs £100, almost half the price of the Desire C (although it is locked) (ed : check our Huawei Ascend G300 Review).

When it comes to specifications though, the G300 trounces the Desire C on almost all accounts. There's a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, a 4in WVGA capacitive display (that's 250 per cent more pixels), a five-megapixel rear camera and 512MB RAM.

Granted it has "only" 2.5GB onboard storage, Bluetooth 2.1 (rather than 4.0), Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread (rather than ICS which is coming later this year) and no free Dropbox storage subscription. But whether these features altogether are worth £90 remains to be seen.

But there's worse. Add £30 and you get the HTC One V. The phone is marginally bigger but also way faster, with a slightly bigger screen and most importantly a much higher WVGA resolution.

So unless the Desire C falls down in price significantly, chances that it will be a very poor seller are high. However, we've noted that the handset, which hasn't been released yet, is already on pay monthly contracts starting from around £10 per month.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.