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Alcatel One Touch readies U.S. invasion with world’s thinnest smartphone and a colorful 5-inch phablet

Zach Epstein
January 7th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra Release Date

TCL Communication’s (2618) Alcatel One Touch brand is ostensibly unknown in the United States, but the company is looking to make a name for itself at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Alcatel One Touch has a number of new devices debuting at CES 2013 and to start things off, the China-based firm has unveiled a trio of intriguing new Android phones.

While the show doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday, Alcatel One Touch got an early start on Monday — likely in order to ensure that it can lay claim to “the world’s thinnest smartphone” for at least a few hours.

The first of three smartphones debuting at CES 2013 is the One Touch Idol Ultra, a sleek Android-powered handset that is just 6.45 millimeters thick. To put that dimension in perspective, the phone is 15% thinner than Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5.

Other notable specs include a 4.7-inch HD AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Next up is the One Touch Idol, an entry-level version of the Idol Ultra. Measuring a slightly thicker 8.15 millimeters, the One Touch Idol includes a 4.7-inch qHD IPS display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, 512MB of RAM and the same Jelly Bean OS as the Ultra model.

Finally, Alcatel One Touch has unveiled its first entry into the “phablet” market with the One Touch Scribe HD. This stylus-ready device features a 5-inch HD IPS display, the 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 chipset, an 8-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot and Android 4.1. The One Touch Scribe HD also comes in a variety of colors including black, white, red and yellow.

Each of the three smartphones Alcatel One Touch debuted on Monday will launch in China later this month. The One Touch Scribe HD will then be released in the U.S. some time in the second quarter for a surprisingly affordable $397 before taxes and subsidies, and both the One Touch Idol and One Touch Idol Ultra will launch at a later point in time. The latter will cost $444 before taxes and subsidies, while pricing for the One Touch Idol has not yet been announced.

No carrier partners have been revealed at this point in the U.S. or in China.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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