For the past several months, leaks and rumors surrounding the mysterious HTC "Ocean" smartphone lineup have popped up fairly regularly, and although most of us were hoping to get a glimpse of HTC's future plans for the smartphone market at CES 2017, this hasn't come to pass. Instead, the company is set to host an unveiling event called "For U" on January 12, and new rumors suggest that one of the devices planned for launch at the event will be the so-called HTC U Play, also known by the codename "Alpine".
Previous rumors have indicated that HTC might be working on developing three new smartphones carrying the "Ocean" moniker, including the so-called Ocean Note. However, more recent rumors suggest that one of HTC's upcoming smartphones will be codenamed "Alpine", and will hit the shelves under the official name of HTC U Play. Meanwhile, the device previously referred to as the "Ocean" will allegedly become the HTC U Ultra. But getting back to the matter at hand, the mysterious HTC Alpine was mentioned in one of @OnLeaks' recent tweets, and assuming that the shared information is correct, the HTC Alpine, a.k.a. HTC U Play will be equipped with a 5.2-inch display, making it smaller than the other rumored "Ocean" smartphones. The source also mentions that the device will not have a 3.5-milimeter headphone jack, so it's safe to assume that it will sport a USB Type-C connector instead.
Needless to say, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding HTC's upcoming smartphone lineup, and whether the HTC U Play (Alpine) will be part of the same "Ocean" lineup is unclear. What has been confirmed so far is that the Taiwanese tech giant will be on stage on January 12 for the aforementioned "For U" event, where we expect smartphones in the so-called "U" series to be introduced to the public for the first time. Either way, rumors have it that the "Ocean" series will be equipped with curved screens (likely curving around the edges of the device) and that at least one of the smartphones will be equipped with Qualcomm's upcoming and most powerful System-on-Chip (SoC) – the Snapdragon 835. However, until HTC reveals the official hardware specifications, unconfirmed details remain subject to change.