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Is this the smartphone to topple the iPhone?

HTC unveil the Desire HD and Desire Z – both running on their own customised ‘HTC Sense’ Android OS.

TAIWANESE PHONE MANUFACTURER HTC has launched two new handsets it hopes could overtake the Apple iPhone as the chic smartphone of choice.

The company‘s CEO Peter Chou unveiled the Desire HD and the Desire Z at a swanky central London launch, both of which come with HTC’s ‘Sense’ user interface, an overlay on Google’s open source Android operating system.

The top-end HD model, pictured, comes with a 4.3-inch display and an 8-megapixel camera, powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The handset also comes supplied with an eBook software program, a potential rival to Apple’s iBookstore.

The company also launched some impressive new features that will appeal to those who regularly mislay their phones: by logging on to, users can page a missing phone – even if it is on ‘silent’ – and even forward calls to another number so as not to remain out of touch.

The website can also lock the phone remotely, send your phone a text with your contact details for the attention of anyone who may have it – and can even activate a “self-destruct” mode that wipes a lost or stolen handset of any personal data.

A much-anticipated launch of a phone using Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 7 operating system, the predecessors of which HTC already manufactures handsets for, failed to materialise.

The launch comes a day after Nokia unveiled three new smartphones of their own.

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