Clash Of The (HTC) Titans

HTC announced two new Windows Phone 7 Mango powered devices today, the HTC Radar and the HTC Titan. The Radar is a low-end budget-conscious device, while the Titan sits atop the high end, sporting a 4.7″ display, HTC’s biggest screen on a phone to date.

As usual for HTC devices, both of these phones are given new names when they hit the market. Apparently the Radar and Titan are really the previously leaked HTC Omega and HTC Eternity, respectively.

Now here’s the funny thing with names — HTC tends to sell identical hardware under various names for marketing purposes, but the real fans (mobile device nerds) identify devices by their internal name, especially when it comes to aftermarket roms and modifications. In fact, if you search for information about your phone on XDA-Developers or even Wikipedia, you most likely find it referred to by HTC’s codename, not the name you had printed on the box.

And that is why I find the marketing name of HTC Titan confusing. You see, HTC had a device about five years ago called the Titan internally. It was a WM6.1 device,  sported a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and was one of the first WinMo smartphones to include a built-in GPS. On Sprint, it was known as the HTC Mogul, Verizon called it the PPC 6800, and Telus called it the P4000. They were all identical, branded versions of the HTC Titan.

This device is rather dear to me, as it was my first Sprint phone and the one that I got heavily involved in the aftermarket firmware community for. In fact, way back then I had written the first ROM-flash tutorial on, and it was the tutorial everyone followed. That is, until I no longer had the time to update the thread and it was eventually replaced with a more up-to-date one. I was also part of a team of tinkering developers that fixed a notorious Bluetooth bug on some of the early custom roms. There’s something about your first that always stays with you.

So, imagine my confusion at HTC recycling the name. Sure, it was only an internal name before, and this time it’s a market name so the two shouldn’t conflict. Yet, it does. You see, if you type HTC Titan into Google right now, most of  your hits show the old HTC Mogul. In fact, up until today, Wikipedia’s entry for HTC Titan was all about that hardware and its variants (click the link to see the preserved page as it used to appear).

Someone must have realized that the conflicting name may confuse consumers, so the Wikipedia entry was completely wiped out in favor of the new WP7 device announced today. Literally, it’s happening as I write this.

While the nearly 5″ display toting HTC Titan/Eternity seems drool worthy in its own right, I can’t help but hold a grudge against replacing its namesake. I’m sorry, but the HTC Titan will always be the cute little sliding keyboard phone to me. You can’t take away my memories, HTC!

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