Color me surprised, not by the story but by the identity of the co-lead character. Photos of the HTC Edge hit the InterWebs today, and if the details accompanying the photos prove to be true, this could be the start of something very interesting, indeed. See, as it is now most HTC smartphones pack Qualcomm-sourced processors. HTC and Qualcomm are like chocolate and peanut butter: They just go together.

Or at least they did. Rumor has it that the HTC Edge will be the world’s first quad-core smartphone, powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip – not a Qualcomm Snapdragon.

To be fair, HTC does make some non-Qualcomm stuff. Most of it winds up in China, so folks in my part of the world (US and, by virtual proxy, Western Europe) might not know about it. Still, mobile geeks are kind of used to seeing “HTC” and “Qualcomm Snapdragon” in the same sentence, over and over again.

Edge as we have recently come to know it is (purported to be) an Android running sonofagun with very close ties to the Verizon Rezound, save the exponentially upgraded CPU. PocketNow‘s source says the phone will sport a 4.7″ 720p HD display, 1GB of RAM, 8MP camera with a backlit sensor and 28-millimeter, f/2.2 lens, 32 GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 4.0 and – naturally – Beats Audio technology onboard. As of now Edge is said to offer HSPA+ 21 as its fastest form of data transfer, though we all know where there’s a superphone there are half a dozen variants waiting in the wings, each with its own special breed of connectivity.

Forget the spec sheet for a moment, though, and think about this: In nary a few years Nvidia has gone from “That other graphics card company,” to a major power broker on the mobile scene. While I can’t confirm it just yet, what if this rumor is true? What if HTC starts making high-end phones powered by Nvidia CPUs? Where does that leave Qualcomm – and, for that matter, TI and the rest of the mobile chipmaker landscape? Interesting times are indeed ahead of us.

[Source: PocketNow]