Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Pre-order sales of the new version of HTC Corp.'s (宏達電) flagship U Ultra model, which has a sapphire crystal cover, opened in Taiwan on Monday, the Taiwan-based smartphone brand said.
The sapphire crystal version of the 5.7-inch U Ultra has a storage capacity of 128GB and is available in four colors: blue, black, white and pink, HTC said. The pre-order sales campaign will run through March 28, and shipments will start then, the company added.
HTC unveiled its newest flagship model in January when sales kicked off in Taiwan. Sales of the phone entered global markets, such as Hong Kong, Europe, the Middle East and China, starting from February.
The sapphire crystal version is priced at NT$28,900 (US$948), HTC said. The smartphone brand is working exclusively with Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電), one of Taiwan's leading telecom services providers, to market the special model.
Pre-orders can be made through HTC's online shop and its authorized vendors, the smartphone brand said, adding that from Monday through April 15, buyers of the new U Ultra version will be given a free gift worth about NT$3,000 for each purchase.
The U series, which has replaced the HTC One series as HTC's flagship model, has several attractive features according to the company, including an artificial intelligence (AI) function and an aluminum look for a refined finish.
The high-end phone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and storage options of 64GB and 128GB, a 12-megapixel UltraPixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3000mAH battery.
It disposes with the headphone jack but has a USB Type C design for the AI function.
In addition to the U Ultra, foreign tech websites have reported that HTC is expected to introduce a new high-end model in April, which will be equipped with a sense touch function and is likely to run the Snapdragon 821 with 4GB or 6GB of RAM.
More importantly, the tech websites said, the upcoming flagship model has been designed to support mobile virtual reality.
Another rumor circulating in the market is that HTC will roll out two new Pixel 2 models for Google coded "walleye" and "muskie" on a contract manufacturing basis, and they will be equipped with the latest Android 8.0 operating system.
After the announcement that the new U Ultra model was going on sale, shares of HTC rose 1.32 percent to close at NT$76.50 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Monday.
(By Emse Jiang and Frances Huang)