Smartphone manufacturer HTC is currently preparing its 2017 device lineup and prolific leakster, @LlabTooFeR, has tweeted three device code names due early in the year. His tweet mentioned the the HTC Alpine, HTC E66 and the HTC Ocean Note, but did not provide any additional detail. Given what we have already seen about HTC’s potential model range for early 2017, it is easy to summarize what these three models are likely to be. The HTC Ocean Note is reckoned to be the HTC U Ultra, and this device is set to be unveiled on January 12. The HTC U Note is set to have a large, 6.0-inch display, a USB Type-C port and no 3.5mm headphone socket. The HTC Alpine is believed to be the HTC One X10, a new mid-range device built around a 5.5-inch display and powered by the mid-range, power efficient, octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 chipset clocked at 1.9 GHz. And the last device, the HTC E66, is reckoned to be the early 2011 flagship model, the HTC 11. Given HTC have traditionally used a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, the HTC 11 is believed to be being built around the recently-announced Snapdragon 835 chipset and will feature a QHD, or 1,440 by 2,560 resolution, display panel of 5.5-inch in size.
For 2016, HTC’s flagship device, the HTC 10, was the company’s best ever smartphone. Despite this, the company still struggled in the industry, even given the disappointing sales of the LG G5 and Samsung’s troubles later in the year with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s exploding battery problem. The HTC 10 was at the time of launch relatively expensive and as a company, HTC have a smaller marketing budget compared with the big players in the industry such as Apple and Samsung. HTC manufacture a comprehensive range of mid-range Desire models, built around various chipsets and with different screen and camera sizes. The new HTC U Ultra could be a stab at tackling the hole in the Android “phablet” market left when Samsung removed the Galaxy Note 7 from sale, or perhaps as a response to the rumours that Samsung has reworked the Galaxy S8 family to offer a normal model and a Galaxy S8 Plus variant, with a screen approaching 6.0-inches. Nevertheless, although HTC’s branded devices have struggled against the competition, Google selected HTC to manufacture the Pixel family of devices and this experience should have been a positive for the business.