HTC used to be the premier Android manufacturer – it actually made the first Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, and then revolutionized the Android smartphone market all over again with the release of the original HTC EVO 4G, what many people at the time dubbed a “superphone.”
But lately, as we all know, HTC’s been in a bit of a rut. Sales are down, Samsung is king of the hill, developers are ticked off at HTC’s weird bootloader practices, and general consumers are losing interest. So last year, HTC decided to change all that and unify its smartphone offerings, similar to what Samsung did with its Galaxy lineup. But HTC didn’t really succeed in that effort: It released the One X, the One X+, the One S, the One V, the One SV, the EVO 4G LTE, the DROID DNA, and other minor variants. HTC thus inadvertently created a vast new lineup of devices, which it will have to (or should) support for at least 18 months, and consumers still don’t see HTC as a cohesive brand anymore.
So this year, HTC said, “Hold up. Now we’re really going to unify our line up – trust us this time.” And along comes the HTC One. So far, so good, right?
Not so fast. Word just came out of China about a new HTC One variant with dual SIM slots, a removable back cover, and – wait for it – a microSD card slot.
Personally, the presence of a microSD card slot is not a make-it-or-break-it feature for me, but for a lot of other people, it is. Granted, with the HTC One being offered in 32GB and 64GB flavors – and with an abundance of cheap cloud storage – a microSD card slot might not be as big a deal as it once was, but lots of users still refuse to buy a phone without one.
And this, dear readers, is precisely why people are starting to hate HTC. Obviously, there is no “unified” HTC One line – the largest country in the world is getting a completely different version than Europe and North America. If China can get the device with a microSD card slot, why not us? Obviously, there must be room for it in the design. It seems that HTC is playing a huge game of charades, while not really changing its approach to smartphones all that much.
Of course, I could be over-reacting. After all, I don’t even plan on getting the HTC One myself. But gone are the days when I stuck up for HTC. Sometimes, it really does seem like chimpanzees are running the show.[Engadget]