Would you pay $1700 for a Windows Mobile phone?

Htc_athenaApparently, that’s what the HTC Athena will set you back based on this HTC roadmap info tipped to us by Mobility Site. Both of those links will cover the entire HTC product roadmap; there’s several new devices in the works, but I’ll let you browse them at your leisure. I’m more interested in the reported price point of the Athena at nearly two-grand.

Is there really a market for such a device at that price? Yes, you do get cellular capabilities integrated in and the screen is larger than most Windows Mobile devices of today at 5-inches. You also get the option to attach or detach the keypad, which is a very flat-looking keyboard. There’s no doubt the device is intriguing and a has a nice design. Keep in mind what you’re not going to get for the money:

  • Ability to run full Windows applications since this device will run Windows Mobile, not Windows XP
  • Opportunity to output the display to an external monitor; from what I can see there’s no way to do this

Mobile tech is really all about compromise: we sacrifice features for power or usability for size, etc….that’s just a fact of life. The question is: are you willing to sacrifice $1700 for a device with this feature set? I’m sure there will be a few folks that do and there’s nothing wrong with that, but my hope was that HTC was truly entering the UMPC market with a Windows-based device; based on the Athena, my guess is that this is their entry. Hopefully I’m off-base and we’ll see something else at CES. In fairness to HTC, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised about a high-end Windows Mobile device; HTC WM phones are among the best available on the market today.

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