Will HTC Incredible Live Up to Its Name?

With a name like “Incredible,” you’d better be good.

Based on leaked documents published on Tuesday, phone enthusiasts are buzzing over prospects that what’s rumored to be Verizon’s next big phone will live up to its name and more.

Various Web sites published what were purported to be manuals and spec sheets for the new phone. They indicate that the Incredible will share many similarities with Google’s well-received — but lightly bought — Nexus One, including its 1 Ghz Snapdragon processor and 3.7-inch OLED capacitive screen. It will feature the HTC Sense user interface layered over Android 2.1.

HTC Incredible

HTC Incredible (photo courtesy of pocketnow)

Weighing in at 5.59 ounches, the Incredible will measure 4.63 inches by 2.3 inches and will be less than a half-inch thick, according to the documents.

Unlike the popular iPhone, the Incredible is said to support microSD cards up to 32 GB, supplementing the 8 GB of native storage space. The phone will further differentiate itself from Apple’s phone by supporting Flash.

It will carry an 8 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, according to the documents.

Claimed talk time is 312 minutes, with 149 hours of standby time.

Release Imminent?

The gush of information led many on the enthusiast Web sites to think that the phone’s launch is imminent. Verizon’s media relations office did not immediately return a request for comment, and HTC spokesperson Rickey Bird declined to comment on the handset or launch plans, saying “generally HTC does not speak to rumors and speculation.”

However, assuming the specs are correct, the carrier that has this phone has its next big launch in the bag, said Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless at the 451 Group.

The Incredible could sell more than a million copies in its first months — similar numbers to the iPhone and the Motorola Droid — Hazelton predicted, although he does not make formal forecasts.

About 12.3 million Android phones will ship this year, according to Canalys — up 169 percent from 2009. That compares to 13.8 million iPhones, up 27 percent from 2009.

HTC Incredible

HTC Incredible (photo courtesy of pocketnow)

Android now owns 18.9 percent of the smartphone market, according to the research firm, while RIM, the maker of BlackBerry devices, still leads with 43 percent. Apple claims second place at 21.3 percent, but with Android’s astonishing growth, that might not hold.

New Wave for Android

It will be especially interesting to watch the Incredible launch, Hazelton said, since it will mark the first time consumers will be able to walk into a retail store and handle a bleeding-edge Android phone with features similar to the well-received Nexus One, an HTC handset that is available only as an online purchase from Google.

It’s also comparable to Sprint’s HTC Evo, a 4G phone launching this summer.

“It’s very shrewd for Verizon to be launching the Incredible, because they could have seen some migration of users to the Evo,” Hazelton said.

Target Markets

All of these phones appeal predominantly to the same group that craved the iPhone, Hazelton said — tech-savvy consumers with disposable income who want to remain connected and do social networking on the go, for both personal and professional reasons.

Despite the rapid growth of the Android platform, however, Hazelton expects the iPhone will have an edge with enterprise users because of greater familiarity and comfort among corporate IT staff, as well as greater security controls than are currently available on the open Android platform.

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