In spite of HTC’s claims that it is going to unify its smartphone lineup, and concentrate on one major flagship device at a time, it looks like the Taiwanese company is planning on releasing both a miniature and an extra large version of the HTC One. Is this really the right thing to do for the company?
First up, let’s look at the miniature HTC One. An unnamed HTC device with the design name PO58XXX was just spotted in a Bluetooth SIG filing (this is the same way we found out about Verizon’s version of the HTC One). This device is believed to be the HTC M4, or what will probably be called the HTC One Mini.
According to earlier rumors, the HTC One Mini will sport a 4.3-inch 720p display, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB of RAM, and the same 4.3 UltraPixel camera that is found on the current HTC One. It is is also expected to run Android 4.2 at release, with Sense 5.0 (of course). Finally, it will feature Bluetooth 4.0, as we can tell from this filing. In other words, it looks to be comparable to last year’s One S – the smaller, lower-powered sibling to the One X.
Now let’s take a look at the HTC T6, which is the rumored 5.9-inch version of the HTC One. According to measurements leaked by Mobile Leaks, the display on the device will only increase 3mm over the HTC One, which admittedly seems hard to believe. Rumors specs also include a 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, a 3300mAh battery, and the same UltraPixel camera on the HTC One and HTC One Mini.
Some rumors also indicate that it will include advanced pen functionality, to compete more effectively with the Samsung Galaxy Note II and upcoming Note III.
Personally, I’m not quite sure what to make of these rumors. On the one hand, it’s understandable that HTC will want to target all segments of the market, especially since that is what Samsung has done, and quite effectively at that. The HTC One Mini (which isn’t really all that miniature by last year’s standards) will target the low end of the market, while the HTC T6 (or whatever it ends up being called) will target those who like the form factor of the Galaxy Note series, while keeping the build quality that HTC is famous for.
But at the same time, Samsung has grown into a behemoth that dwarfs HTC in comparison. Samsung can afford to make multiple devices and effectively target everyone, while HTC has proven that it’s too small to do that and succeed. Last year’s One X, One S, and One V failed to gain as much traction as HTC had hoped, even though all were solid devices. And HTC actually just released another phone that could target the lower end of the market: the HTC First. While this “Facebook phone” hasn’t been doing well so far, if HTC poured some more marketing dollars into it – instead of designing a completely new phone – it might have a better chance after all.
HTC has shown that it can’t handle keeping more than a couple devices up to date in a timely manner. When it releases too many phones at once, updates get buggier and tend to take longer. People become uninterested, and buy Samsung phones instead. Developers get discouraged when unlocking tools don’t work the way they expect them to. Could HTC be repeating its past mistakes here?
Of course, these devices are still in the rumor category, since no official announcements about them have been made yet. But still, I hope that HTC knows what it’s doing, and can handle the extra work it’s made for itself. If not, HTC’s recent successes might start reversing once again.[Mobile Leaks via Android and Me | Android Community]