The HTC One is the company's current flagship smartphone and has been since it first burst onto the scene back in February. Because most major manufacturers have been operating on a yearly release cycle for their big-time products lately, many folks expect HTC to unveil its next flagship device early in 2014. Today that theory got a nice bit of support, and it came from a source that you might not expect.
In his ruling of the HTC One mini ban that I reported on earlier today, Judge Richard Arnold may have let slip the timeframe in which HTC is aiming to release its next flagship smartphone. Judge Arnold says that as part of its case, Nokia suggested that HTC will release the follow-up to its One flagship in the first quarter of 2014, possible as soon as February. Arnold then says that HTC did nothing to contradict that claim.
Later on in the ruling, Arnold says that according to HTC, a ban on the One would be "catastrophic" to its U.K. business because it is the company's most important device. Arnold goes on to say that he is somewhat skeptical of the dire situation that HTC claims it would be in if it were to suffer a One ban because "HTC will shortly be launching its new flagship phone." However, he explains that it is possible that HTC could be vulnerable "between now and February or March 2014" and that the damage caused by an injunction against the One during that period could be "both considerable and very difficult to quantify."
As I mentioned before, many major mobile device makers have been following a yearly release cycle for their flagship products as of late, and so it wouldn't be a surprise to see HTC unveil its follow-up to the One early in 2014. Nothing is official until HTC says it is, but considering that Nokia and Judge Arnold both brought up that release timeframe and HTC did nothing to dispute it does make an early 2014 launch of the new flagship a bit more believable.
There's been no solid evidence yet on what kind of features that HTC is planning to include with its One successor, but with the way that the rumor mill works and a possible debut just a few months out, I wouldn't be surprised if more details leaked out soon. Stay tuned.