The HTC U12 Plus Android flagship will launch in early May, Focus Taiwan reported Monday, citing industry sources close to the Taipei-based original equipment manufacturer. Insiders believe HTC consciously avoided introducing a new high-end offering earlier in the year so as to prevent a scenario in which its new handset has to take the likes of Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Sony's Xperia XZ2 lineups head-on. The device will ship with a 6.0-inch display panel and lack a smaller counterpart, with HTC hence clearly being content to exclusively target phablet aficionados in the premium mobile space. As the U12 Plus is understood to be the OEM's only flagship bet in 2018 — as per previous rumors which the new report reiterates — and given the relative lack of major mobile launches this spring, HTC is likely to commit significant resources to advertising its upcoming offering.
By not releasing a second high-end model in the other half of 2018, HTC may be able to boost the sales of its upcoming device, with that scenario presumably being the main focus of its widely reported decision to streamline its smartphone portfolio going forward. The company is also expected to be less active in the mid-range and entry-level market segments over the course of this year, though the recently unveiled Desire 12 series is unlikely to be its final value-oriented product family launched in 2018, as per previous reports. The latest information suggests the U12 Plus will feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chip, 6GB of RAM, a 3,420mAh battery, and a base of 64GB of internal flash memory, whereas a more premium variant with 128GB of storage space is also said to be planned.
The rear panel of the Android flagship is expected to accommodate a dual-camera setup consisting of a 12-megapixel sensor and a 16-megapixel module, whereas another two-lens system is rumored to be featured on its slim top bezel, entailing two 8-megapixel units. The pressure-sensitive "Edge Sense" frame HTC introduced last year is expected to make a return with the U12 Plus, much like the elongated 18:9 aspect ratio, whereas the handset isn't expected to feature a display notch. Success in the premium market segment in which products usually come with high profit margins attached to them could be the most straightforward way for HTC to revive its rapidly declining mobile business, especially since the company as a whole just posted its worst year to date.