HTC is going all in with its U12 Plus bet as the company isn’t planning on releasing any other Android flagships over the course of this year, HTC Source reported Friday, citing a source close to the firm. The development comes shortly after the tech giant started converging its virtual reality and mobile units across the world and approximately three months following initial reports that HTC is looking to release fewer smartphone models in 2018. The HTC U12 Plus will be launched this spring, with its name likely to be stylized as the “HTC U12+.” No regular U12 model will be introduced in the coming weeks to follow-up on the U11 released last year, insiders claim. The decision to drop its dual-flagship annual strategy should see the firm make a more concentrated push to promote the U12 Plus once the handset is unveiled in early May.
The Taipei-based phone maker is also said to be targeting global availability and intends to organize a worldwide commercial release of the HTC U12 Plus. The U Play and U Ultra handset series are now understood to have been dropped by the company and won’t be refreshed in 2018 or beyond. The original report suggested HTC’s next Android flagship will be priced comparably to last year’s Galaxy S8 which presently retails for just over $700 in most markets, though the outlet later went back on its claims, having revealed it received additional info that made it doubt the accuracy of the original claim.
HTC debuted its latest mobile offerings in the form of the Desire 12 and Desire 12 Plus earlier this week, having uncovered them in the form of Android mid-rangers with 18:9 720p displays. The company also missed out on the opportunity to make a major announcement at Mobile World Congress late last month, though it already had a historically inconsistent approach to the industry’s largest annual trade show before the latest iteration of the Barcelona, Spain-based event. HTC now appears to be shifting more of its resources to VR that it sees as the safest path toward long-term sustainability following years of losses incurred by its mobile unit. Several days back, the OEM unveiled its second-generation VR headset — the $800 Vive Pro — and vowed that its standalone Vive Focus headgear powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 will be made available in more markets over the course of 2018.