HTC will be focussing its efforts on larger smartphones in 2015. However, the decision could spell the end of HTC’s mini editions of its flagship smartphones.
Although HTC released smaller versions of both the original HTC One and HTC One M8, it is unclear whether a third edition will now follow.
FOCUS TAIWAN had reported HTC North Asia president Jack Tong as saying the company will not release any more mini versions of its smartphones. Yet in the actual quote carried by the publication Tong spoke specifically about a move towards larger devices, rather than discontinuing mini smartphones.
HTC believes there is a trend of larger smartphone displays in evidence. As a result, the company intends to concentrate on devices with display sizes greater than 5 inches.
“Overall the industry is moving towards new phones over 5 inches in size and our product roadmap is close to that of the industry,” Tong remarked.
Since FOCUS TAIWAN’s initial report, HTC has moved to carify its position. The company has stated that Tong was only referring to its focus on larger smartphones, and was not specifcally ruling out future mini devices.
HTC has been fairly non-committal, though, neither confirming nor denying the status of its mini product line-up.
“To be clear, I’m not confirming HTC is coming out with an HTC One M9 Mini, only that Jack Tong didn’t say what some press are attributing to him,” HTC spokesperson Jeff Gordon told Phone Scoop.
What could we expect from a HTC One M9 Mini?
Judging from previous efforts, any HTC One M9 Mini/HTC One Mini 3 would not only have a smaller screen size, but would also carry lower specs generally than HTC’s flagship smartphone.
With previous mini devices, HTC has followed a strategy also used by Samsung and LG. A point often made about mini startphones from these companies is that they are not only mini in size, but also mini in specs.
But whilst lower specs have meant limited appeal as far as many mini smartphones are concerned, the product category is not dead by any means.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has been very well received. But unlike many of its mini rivals, it is a powerful smartphone that can compete with larger flagships handsets.
A specific complaint about previous mini smartphones from HTC is that updates have often taken much longer than was the case with their larger siblings. If HTC does dedice to continue its mini product range, there are many who would like to see the company give a firm commitment to future software updates alongside any launch.
Bigger flagships for Taiwan and China
HTC’s recent actions in Taiwan and China provide a good indication about where the company is heading with its larger smartphones.
A new flagship device, the HTC One M9+, has recently been released in both Taiwan and China.
Although the HTC One M9+ is almost identical to the standard HTC One M9 in terms of design, the new handset carries a much more impressive set of specs.
The HTC One M9+ features a 5.2-inch 1440 x 2560 display, MediaTek Helio X10 2.2GHz octac-core processor, 20-megapixel camera with depth sensor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a physical home key with built-in fingerprint scanner.
HTC has also released the HTC One E9+. The new device offers a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 display, but has a plastic body in order to keep its cost down.
The HTC One M9+ is more comparable in terms of specs to rival 2015 flagships – such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 – than it is to the standard HTC One M9.
Currently HTC does not have plans to release either the HTC One M9+ or HTC One E9+ in Europe.