The Mobile Lowdown 04-12-11: HTC Sensation; iPhone 5; ZTE/Ericsson

Our look at some of the big stories today in mobile: HTC launches the HTC Sensation handset; more rumors on the iPhone 5; and ZTE takes a legal swipe back at Ericsson.

HTC: On the heels of Nokia (NYSE: NOK) launching two handsets today, HTC — which has just passed Nokia in market capitalization, if not market share — of Taiwan unveiled its newest Android-based handset in London today, the HTC Sensation.

Android phone watchers will recognise this as the HTC Pyramid that HTC unveiled earlier this year, now renamed for the UK market. It has had one big tweak beyond the renaming: it will also feature HTC’s latest stab at content delivery, a service it calls Watch, which offers users a catalogue of premium videos that can be streamed directly on the device.

The is the first handset to feature the Watch service, which has up to now been something that HTC had only announced for tablets. But given the specs for this handset — which include a dual-core processor — it is more than capable of handling video content. It’s also a significant move in HTC tying its handset users more closely to being buyers of HTC tablets, as the content can be shared across multiple HTC devices.

HTC today also announced that its new tablet, the Flyer, will also go on sale in May in the UK.

Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) will be the first provider of the Sensation, across Europe, starting in May. Other mobile operators will start to get the device in June.

iPhone 5: Yet more reports on when the much-anticipated next iPhone, being dubbed the iPhone 5, will be hitting the market.

While some thought it might be late summer (after Apple’s developer event in June), now analysts at Avian Securities believe that production will not even begin for the devices until September this year.

This would mean either a late 2011 or even 2012 launch for the device. The analysts are basing this idea on reports from some of the component suppliers, who are also apparently making more indications towards this idea of a low-cost, lower-specification iPhone model as well.

If the latter came to market, that would throw a curveball to those analysts like Gartner that have forecast Android dominance, based in part on the idea that Android makers will be the only ones to offer cheap smartphones.

ZTE/Ericsson: Another chapter in the scuffle between ZTE and Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC). On the heels of Ericsson filing a lawsuit against ZTE over patent infringements, ZTE is now countersuing Ericsson in ZTE’s home country of China, writes the WSJ.

In this current suit, ZTE claims that Ericsson sold products in China that violated patents that ZTE holds in the areas of 4G, core networking and GSM. ZTE may also consider filing further suits in China and abroad.

A sour ending for a pair that started out working together as far back as 2006.