2010 HTC?s year?

Now I know we're not even in April yet, but if you were to name a manufacturer of the year (so far), you'd be hard pushed to look past HTC. After a phenomenally strong 2009 - it was HTC who really pioneered the Android revolution with the likes of the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic and HTC Hero - they show no signs of slowing down.

With the both Nokia and LG distancing themselves from Mobile World Congress in February, many predicted that what has been the pinnacle in the mobile phone calendar as being a quieter affair. Not so. All the manufacturers (Nokia and LG included) still used the occasion to announce their latest products, services and gizmos, which suggest we're in for a phone feast in the coming months. Sony Ericsson hopes to reaffirm their reputation with the Xperia X10 looking particularly mouth watering, while Samsung sung about their Bada focused Wave. Even Motorola continued their Rocky-esque comeback with the heavily-specced Quench nabbing a fair few column inches.

Yet the biggest buzz was again reserved for HTC. The HTC Legend and Desire divided opinion among the press fraternity, yet only in that no one could agree which was better. Although we've been hands on with both, we've only conducted a full review of the Hero, a handset we liked very much. In fact so much so that it received that much coveted five star approval. Who's to say the Desire won't do equally well?

Though they've been in the mobile market for a fair few years now, HTC has always been in the shadows of the more established brands namely Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Last year, their confidence grew as they began to develop a real cult following. Though the handsets themselves were pretty top notch, it would be foolish to not put a large chunk of this success down to the Android. We're sure you yourselves know some Fandroids (see what we did there?). You know the sort? The one's who snort at anyone who dares lavish praise on the iPhone, while they casually pull out their HTC Hero and eagerly anticipate you asking, "Oh what phone is that?" However, with nearly all the major manufacturers now joining the Android stampede (Nokia and of course Apple the notable exceptions) this cult is growing to religious like proportions.

Yet it is HTC that remains the darling. They've even managed to successfully blend in their own operating system, Sense, with Android that has only enhanced the overall experience. And it's not just Android. HTC hasn't forgotten their first love, Windows Mobile. Often maligned (we have our fingers, toes and anything else we can cross, well crossed, that Windows 7 will prove to be everything we had hoped 6.5 would be), the HTC HD2 showed that Windows Mobile 6.5 needn't be a total disaster.

Of course it's too early to predict that no one will catch up HTC. As we mentioned earlier, there's some cracking devices yet to arrive at Mobile Choice HQ, but if we hadn't just lost a small fortune in the Cheltenham Gold Cup we wouldn't bet against 2010 being HTC's year.

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