After losing its exclusive iPhone distribution rights, AT&T seems to be embracing HTC with a new surge of enthusiasm. The target is Verizon’s iPhone 4 and by the looks of it, AT&T’s HTC Inspire seems to be a much better option.

The first place to start is the pricing. Verizon’s 16 GB iPhone 4 is set at $199, while the 32 GB version goes for $299. In contrast, the HTC inspire retails for a mere $99, with a two-year contract.

Next, let us look at the specs. In this department, the HTC inspire is the overall winner. To begin with, it packs a 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen. Under the hood, you will find a Qualcomm MSM8255 processor with 1 GHZ Scorpion Adreno 205 GPU. Compare this to the iPhone 4, which comes with a 3.5-inch screen and an A4 processor. Things only get better with the HTC Inspire as it offers HSDPA up to 14.4 Mbps, while the iPhone only offers HSDPA up to 7.2 Mbps.

The HTC Inspire also boasts an 8-megapixel camera, with face detection, dual-LED flash and geotagging features. The iPhone 4, on the other hand, features a 5-megapixel camera.

Despite the cruel end to its love affair with the iPhone 4, it seems that AT&T is more than capable of providing a powerful range of phones and still competing at a decent level. Let us hope it can continue with the show.