Can the M7 revive HTC?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 16, 2013

In 2013, the mobile industry is weighted down by impending peril. Even if Nokia is doing “well enough” in their partnership with Microsoft, there seems to always be whispers of the company’s potential to slip down the slippery slope of failure at any moment. On top of that, we have to wait with fingernails between chattering teeth as Research In Motion prepares to launch BlackBerry 10 at the end of the month, and hopefully save their own existence within the mobile industry. And then there’s HTC, the Taiwanese-based company that is looking to turn things around this year, while individuals out there in the wild are sharpening their sticks in preparation to bring the giant company down for good.

There is no doubt that HTC’s presence in the mobile industry has slipped. The crown they wore so proudly as the King of Android has been placed upon another company, and it is questionable whether or not HTC can ever recover it. I imagine that HTC would love nothing more than to be the household name for Android again, and they’d like nothing more for that to happen this year.

But are the worst days behind HTC? I asked you that question a couple of weeks ago, and many of you believe that HTC still has a chance. HTC’s plan for the future is better marketing, and there is no doubt that that is a huge reason why devices from Apple and Samsung are so popular. Both companies shell out an exorbitant amount of money to market their devices, and they can do that thanks to the returns they get from consumers purchasing their goods. It’s a win-win, and that’s a scenario that HTC wants to be part of.

Unfortunately for HTC, just putting a bigger stake in marketing isn’t going to get the job done. It is, indeed, half the battle, but that only counts for fifty percent of the solution. HTC needs, just as much, a device that’s worth marketing. A device that does not simply slip into the noise of the market, forever lost within the dense populace of large displays and fast processors. Just being “another device” isn’t good enough for HTC. It’s not worth marketing. Which, in truth, means it wouldn’t be worth constructing.

At the start of 2012, HTC released the One X. It was, at the time, their flagship device for the year. The company had a new motivator back then, too: To focus on quality, and not quantity. It’s actually 2012 that has me so afraid for HTC in 2013. Their goal to create fewer handsets, and put a bigger emphasis on making top-tier smartphones didn’t really work out. The company has so many One-based devices out there in the wild right now that it’s ridiculous. It really is. HTC learned nothing from years prior, apparently, and they simply went back to their old ways.

Does that mean that HTC will do the same thing this year? After all, marketing is a different animal to manufacturing phones. No, it doesn’t, but it also doesn’t paint a pretty picture, either.

I think HTC needs a device to stimulate the marketing department. The individuals in that particular department need to see a phone that they can get behind, and not simply because they have to, but because they want to. Let’s be honest here: Samsung and Apple are absolutely proud of their devices, and it shows in their marketing. HTC needs the device to be proud of, so that the marketing can speak for itself, while also setting the phone on its own pedestal.

That’s where the M7 comes in. But, first, let’s get one thing out of the way: This looks like an iPhone. It does. I think we can all agree on that. From the comments I’ve seen all over the Internet, this is a truth that simply cannot be denied. However, to be clear, this is just a render. And renders change. In this case, let’s hope it changes, because it most certainly has to. HTC is better than just making an iPhone knock-off.

So, that “iPhone 5S with grilles” render aside, it’s the repeatedly rumored specifications of the M7 that have me so interested. According to reports, we’re looking at an unannounced device with a 4.7-inch 1080p HD touchscreen display, and a quad-core processor that’s supposedly clocked at 1.7GHz. There’s a 13MP camera said to be on the back, with a 2MP front-facing shooter on the other side. It’s supposed to come with 2GB of RAM, and a whopping 32GB of built-in storage. I’m sure it will launch with at least Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (but it is okay to hope it launches with Android 4.2, right?), which would make this device an almost perfect combination of hardware and software.

This is the device that HTC has been waiting for. They’ve got the right size for memory. They’ve got the right size for the display. The processor is impressive. The screen is the 1080p HD variety that’s becoming so popular for specification-mongers. Both cameras are impressive on paper. The only thing that’s left to be known is which version of Android it will run out of the box, what it will look like in its final frame, and how big the battery will be. But, as it stands right now, with what is being rumored, there is only one thing to be said:

The M7 is absolutely the phone that HTC can be proud of.

That is, unless everything about the phone doesn’t pan out, and it ultimately is something far less than what we’re looking at in the rumors. Then, if that’s the case, I take it all back. As it is right now, though, I’m really excited about what HTC has coming down the pipe. Even if it does have a new version of the company’s Sense UI, and isn’t a new handset to run a stock version of Android, I’ll still give it a shot based on what I’m hearing. We don’t have long to wait, just over a month and some days until Mobile World Congress at the end of February, so I’ll have to try and keep my excitement in check.

How do you feel about the M7’s rumored specifications? Are you hoping it turns out to be everything it is hyped up to be? Does HTC stand a chance in the Android market again if the M7 pans out? Let me know what you think.

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