HTC One Max (top)

Is a new HTC flagship smartphone set for release in 2015?

HTC is reportedly already looking beyond the HTC One M9 and planning new smartphones in a bid to turn around its performance. Although the HTC One M9 was only launched in April, it has not been especially well received due to its similarity with previous HTC smartphones.

According to a report in the Taipei Times, HTC chairperson Cher Wang recently told investors that the company was planning to release a new hero product in October, as part of a plan to increase its smartphones sales.

Despite some rumours to the contrary, Android Wafer does not believe that HTC’s forthcoming hero product will be a completely refreshed device. Instead, it is likely that HTC will wait until 2016 before rethinking its flagship smartphone.

As has reportedly been acknowledged by Wang, HTC’s marketing budget is 20-times smaller than rivals such as Samsung and Apple.

It is therefore unlikely that HTC has the resources needed to launch two flagship smartphones in 2015. This is especially true if the HTC One M10 (or whatever the successor to the HTC One M9 ends up being called) is to be a radical departure from previous designs.

Rather than replacing the HTC One M9, HTC’s October hero product could instead pit itself against the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. HTC has not released a large premium smartphone since the HTC One Max in October, 2013.

The HTC One Max had a 5.9-inch display and was based upon the original HTC One. Releasing a successor to the HTC One Max could prove to be a wise move by the Taiwanese manufacturer, given the popularity of last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which featured a 5.7-inch screen.

Rather than simply release a HTC One Max 2, based on the same design philosophy as the HTC One M9, the company could decide to use its forthcoming hero smartphone to develop ideas for the HTC One M10.

Taking this kind of approach would mean that HTC could avoid the huge costs that would come with designing and marketing an entirely new premium smartphone within the space of a few months. However, it could still offer a differentiated product, as well as being able to discover how some of its new ideas are received by consumers.

Samsung adopted a similar strategy with its mid-range Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 series of devices. Ahead of the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6, the company was able to learn from both the development process and consumer reactions, following the release of smartphones which featured a metal chassis.

[via Taipei Times]