According to a recent Digitimes report citing HTC, the Taiwanese tech company has no plans to quit the smartphone market, despite recent speculations suggesting otherwise. Reportedly, HTC believes that the worlds of VR and mobile devices are intertwined and VR technologies will influence the development of future mobile devices to a greater extent in the future. The company has no plans to quit the mobile business as smartphones have become “indispensable” and it plans to release a version of the HTC U12 Life with more storage and RAM near the end of December. In the coming months, additional smartphone models will be added to the company’s portfolio, along with other, unspecified consumer and enterprise-grade products. The OEM is also said to be working on solutions for the 5G era while focusing on blockchain and AI-related technologies.
HTC’s smartphone business has been struggling for many years now, despite the OEM’s numerous efforts to revitalize its position in the market, and despite creating several interesting smartphones over the years. HTC was one of the earliest Android smartphone makers to put a greater emphasis on exterior design and build quality, back when the majority of Android devices were being criticized for relying too much on polycarbonate and feeling rather “cheap” as a result, regardless of their internal hardware prowess. Moreover, HTC has a notable Android pedigree, having been the OEM to develop the first-ever Android-powered smartphone known as the T-Mobile G1, as well as the Nexus One, i.e., Google’s first smartphone in the series, running Android 2.1 Eclair. Later came its own One M series which relied heavily on an aluminum build, challenging other Android smartphone manufacturers to raise the bar and depart from their polycarbonate ways, but despite all of these achievements and ambitious milestones, HTC hasn’t been among the top smartphone manufacturers for many years now.
It’s unclear why HTC didn’t manage to rise above other smartphone makers, and given the OEM’s various attempts to keep its smartphone business relevant over the years, it’s likely that these answers elude even HTC. But some smartphone users who have owned HTC smartphones in the past would argue that part of the OEM’s decline could be attributed to slow OS updates and somewhat clunky implementations of its proprietary software over the years. In retrospect, the repeated renaming strategies for its mobile lineups may have also contributed to a sense of identity/heritage loss. In contrast, Samsung’s Galaxy S series has been going on uninterrupted since 2010, even though the hardware, software, and design philosophies have changed drastically over the years.
The legacy will go on, according to the recent report, and the market should see new mobile devices bearing the HTC brand in the future. Before this year comes to an end, the OEM reportedly plans to release an HTC U12 Life model featuring 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which will join the recently launched variant equipped with 4GB of RAM and 64GB on-board memory. And speaking of the company’s future AI and blockchain-oriented efforts, earlier in October the OEM unveiled the HTC Exodus 1 as a “blockchain smartphone” which could only be purchased online with cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum. The device is expected to be shipped to customers in 34 markets this December. As for its usual Android smartphone business, the OEM seems to want and prove its dedication to the mobile segment by introducing new smartphone models in the coming months, and with CES and Mobile World Congress closing in fast, more details on HTC’s future lineup should emerge relatively soon.