Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC showed off its latest answer to Apple’s iPhone today — a slick, touchscreen gadget called Touch Diamond. The phone will go on sale in Europe next month, around the same time Apple is expected to start selling its new iPhone.
Touchscreen phones are nothing new, and HTC has been selling them for a lot longer than Apple’s (AAPL) been in the mobile business. But it’s not hard to tell exactly where the company got its inspiration for the Touch Diamond — the user interface, running on top of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile, looks especially iPhone-like. (The phone itself looks more like a Zune though, no?)
Either way, that’s OK! Why? The first HTC Touch sold more than 3 million units in its first 11 months, or more than half as many iPhones as Apple has sold. And that’s a keeper, considering it wasn’t nearly as sexy as the iPhone — or the new Diamond — and didn’t have any of Apple’s brand caché or marketing push.