Formally announced 24 hours early (we got a preview last week and signed an embargo until Tuesday which a German site helpfully broke) is the 'Wildfire', HTC's attempt to build a more affordable version of the Desire aimed at a wallet conscious/younger audience.
Given this brief there are obvious cuts to the Wildfire when compared directly to its plush older brother: a 3.2 QVGA (non-OLED) capacitive display, slower 528MHz Qualcom MSM7225 chipset and reduced memory (512MB ROM, 384MB RAM). That said, you'll still find a 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, WiFi, HSDPA, GPS, digital compass, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD expansion slot and - increasingly standard - microUSB charging. At 106.75 x 60.4 x 11.99mm it is reasonably portable too.
Like the Desire, Wildfire will also feature the latest version of HTC Sense (which now includes Android Marketplace app sharing over Facebook and Twitter) and it is build over Android 2.1. Yes the impending Android 2.2 is said to be up to 450 per cent faster, but Wildfire will support it in time.
Availability in Europe has been pegged as "Q3 2010" which could mean any time from early July to late September, but given HTC's recent punctuality I'd predict it being closer to the former than the latter. If HTC can get the pricing right, expect this to spread like... ...no, I'll not go there.
In related news an early Windows Phone 7 ROM leaked over the weekend and buried deep inside XDA-developers.com has found the HTC 'Mondrian' - a spectastic 4.3in WVGA smartphone with 1.3GHz Snapdragon chipset. The photo below was also extracted from the file 'oemavatar.cab', but it is unknown if this is the Mondrian or a generic shot.
With Windows Phone 7 not due until early Q4 there's likely still some time to wait for anything concrete, but following the stunning Dell Lightning the hardware side appears to be stacking up extremely well.