As you all know, HTC hasn’t been doing all that well for a while now. The company has been struggling to turn profit for a long time now and they had to cut costs several times in the last couple of years. HTC’s now former CEO had to step down and take another role in the company in order to make way for Cher Wang, the company’s new CEO. This will hopefully help this Taiwan-based manufacturer to get back to the right path. We’ll see what the future brings for HTC, but let’s focus on the present right now, shall we. Before this change in leadership occurred, HTC has announced their new flagship for 2015, the One M9. This handset was announced as part of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) last month, and initial reactions weren’t all that great.
Why is that? Well, first of all, this handset looks awfully a lot like the company’s flagship from last year, the One M8. It can also be compared in terms of the design to the One M7 which was launched back in 2013. HTC did make some improvements this time around, but nowhere near enough to differentiate from their previous offerings. Not that there’s anything wrong with its design, but it’s starting to feel like HTC is recycling older devices (their design at least). The One M9 offers bumped up specs compared to its predecessor and some slight changes in the design department. The company did address some issues that people were quite vocal about last year, but it just doesn’t feel right this year either.
The HTC One M9 is not the only example here, not by a long shot. Just a couple of days ago, the company has announced the One M8s handset, which is basically repackaged One M8. This handset offers less RAM and a mid-range SoC this time around, but you wouldn’t notice any of that by just looking at the device. These two handsets are basically identical in terms of design, which is a shame really, one would think that they’ll learn something from Samsung’s failures in 2014 and give up on repackaging older devices. You thought that’s it? Well, not quite.
This Taiwan-based company has already scheduled an event for April 8th, where they’ll announce the One M9+ handset. This device has leaked numerous times thus far and gave us a rather clear idea what will it look like. This will be a slightly bigger One M9 with Duo Camera setup on the back and a physical home button on the front with slightly different internals. The home button will quite probably double as a fingerprint scanner, though I’m not all that convinced that’s what HTC needs right now. The device really doesn’t look all that well, mainly because of the home button, but that’s just my personal opinion though.
The company has also listed the One E9+ handset on their official website in China quite recently, yet another handset which resembles the One M9 a whole lot. This thing will be more of a phablet though, and will be somewhat larger than the One M9. Slightly lower-end specifications and perhaps a plastic back can also be expected here, but nothing that would differentiate it more from the company’s current flagship. The HTC One E9 was also mentioned in several leaks, though we’re still not sure whether that device will see the light of day or not.
I have to admit that I’ve liked where HTC was going when the One M7 launched, I wasn’t all that surprised when I didn’t see significant changes when One M8 landed, even though I was hoping HTC would alter the design a bit more. The One M9 is a different story though, I do believe HTC made a mistake here and that they should have differentiated a bit more. It really does seem like the company is constantly recycling their offerings. One M7, One M8 and One M9 resemble each other way too much, not to mention that the company is planning to announce the One M9+ and One E9+ soon, and possibly the One E9 as well. Similarities in design aren’t the only problem here, but the sheer volume of these devices and not that much different hardware. Every single one of the listed devices is either a really powerful mid-ranger or a high-end device. Am I the only one who thinks this way?