Dangers snags Sharp for Hiptop
Palo Alto-based smartphone start-up Danger has signed Sharp to manufacture its second-generation Hiptop. Danger currently employs contract manufacturers in Thailand, and the deal should ease supply problems. T-Mobile, an investor in the company, sells the Hiptop as the Sidekick in the United States.
Manufacturer Sharp will be given instructions that look something like this:
Danger brought the Sidekick to market two years ago, shunning the Symbian and Microsoft behemoths and proving that mobile data could be made to be fast and friendly. The company bet on excellent human interface design - unlike Symbian and Microsoft, the Hiptop doesn't look like a desktop UI transplanted to a handheld - a clean, simple hardware interface, and a proprietary compression that speeds up data transfers between client and server all helped put most of the Hiptop's rivals to shame.
The revamped Hiptop, expected by Christmas, is sleeker and more usable as a phone. Danger demonstrated it at the GSM trade show in February, but Danger CEO Hank 'Notphoto' Nothhaft forbade us, or any of the press, from taking photographs. So forgive us, once again, for the sketch. ®
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