Throwback Thursday: Remember When HTC 'Held The Crown'?


HTC looks set to introduce its latest smartphone next week, the HTC U 11. The name alone has proved to be a bit of controversial issue as for a long time this smartphone had been going by the 'HTC Ocean' codename. Although as time went on, it suddenly became clear that this smartphone was going to follow in the footsteps of the latest arrivals to the newest HTC line – HTC U. Although, more recent rumors started to surface suggesting that this smartphone was going to be called the 'HTC U 11'. Which seems to be an attempt to play on both the new U line, while also somehow suggesting this is the next in the 'One M' line, following on from the HTC 10, which itself followed on from the HTC One M9. Rumors aside, the name does indeed now look to be HTC U 11 and the crossover of the two branding lines does indeed seem to highly suggest this is going to be HTC's main flagship device for 2017. In spite of some suggesting that HTC might not release a 2017 flagship device. Either way, with this new smartphone playing on the HTC One line, it did remind us of a video which surfaced two years ago to promote the then HTC 'One M' brand, as well as HTC in general – this was of course, HTC's 'Hold The Crown' video.

If you missed the video last time around, then this is one to certainly check out. It was never quite clear what the logic was with this video, with the general belief being that it was a marketing ploy to help promote the brand ahead of the One M9 launch (which took place a few weeks after the release of the video). Although, somewhat counter-intuitively the video does clearly focus on the One M8. To be fair to HTC, the video did certainly catch everyone's attention, albeit maybe not for all the right reasons. The video itself looked to take various digs at both Samsung and Apple with a number of references to both competitors (although without their names ever being directly mentioned) made throughout the video. One example being that "them" (read Samsung and Apple) took six years to get what "we" (read HTC) got in two years. Then there was the dancing (and trying to weight-lift) iPhone in the background.


Or the obviously aimed at Samsung line that read "we own the Universe, your Galaxy is overrated." As well as a Samsung Galaxy S5 being pushed around in the gym by the HTC One M8.


Of course looking back, there are a number of obvious changes that have happened since then. The HTC folk in the video do make a point of drawing on how "they" copied their metal design by moving away from their previous focus on glass. Which seems to be something that has changed, as certainly in Samsung's case, the Galaxy S range has reverted to a much greater use of glass. Likewise, the video made a point of HTC under Peter Chou, although since then Chou has left the company with the torch being passed over to Cher Wang. In fact, Wang took over the mantle as CEO about a month after the video was released – we are not suggesting the former was a result of the latter. Just another one of those happy coincidences. Adding to the list of changes since then, was the already-mentioned move away from the One M branding. Which happened the year after the release of this video (back in 2016) when HTC introduced its new forward-thinking and simplified "HTC 10" branding. Although, and again as mentioned, that already seems to be a short-lived branding with HTC in 2017 moving to the HTC U branding, and now seemingly settling on the HTC U 11 branding.

Anyway, two years is a long time in the smartphone game and so it should be expected that things will change in that space. Whether they have changed for the better or not for HTC remains to be seen. In either case, many will be looking to this new squeezable smartphone to see what HTC can bring to the table in 2017 to help differentiate itself from the crown crowd. In the meantime, whether you saw the video or not the first time around, it is worth checking out. In truth, this is one of those videos that will always be worth checking out. And in case you want to sing-along, the chorus goes:

HTC, HTC, I say it loud,
HTC, HTC, you know that we hold the crown
Repeat, repeat.


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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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