January is truly shaping up to be an exciting month in mobile, which will be nice to have after experiencing this lull over the holiday season. Consumer Electronics Show (CES) goes from January 5-8, and T-Mobile will announce their newest Un-carrier move on January 5th. Today we learn that HTC has something up their sleeve as well, as the company tweeted a simple announcement earlier this morning: “For U – 01.12.2017”.
Interestingly enough, nobody seems to have a clue what this announcement could be. Some speculate software updates for older HTC phones. Alex Wagner, our editorial director here at PhoneDog, wondered if this might be a new line of smartphones, or perhaps the long-rumored HTC wearable that has yet to come to fruition. Natt Garun over at The Verge perceptively pointed out that the “U” matches up with the “C” in HTC’s logo. Perhaps it is a symbol of HTC turning things on its head? Or turning things around? Or just creatively using the “C” as the letter “U” without any hidden meaning behind it?
Whatever it is, HTC seems to have the lid tight on this announcement. To throw my own card into the hat, I’m leaning towards (that is to say, kind of hoping for) an early flagship announcement. The HTC 10 only came out in April last year, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the company is pulling out the stops early this year. With the iPhone 7’s removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack and the Note 7 fiasco still fresh in our minds, this wouldn’t be a bad opportunity to remind people that HTC still exists.
HTC hasn’t had many good years as of late. The M7 and M8 steered the company in a nicer, cleaner direction, but the M9 proved to be underwhelming. HTC seemed to have gotten things right again with the HTC 10, but between its high price tag and lack of drastically new or bad features to report on, the HTC 10 was mostly forgotten about.
Earlier this year rumors were swirling that HTC was going to give up its mobile division. This was met by an official statement to TechRadar from an HTC spokesperson stating, “HTC strongly denies this rumor.” So, we know that HTC is going to keep on keeping on, and they’re getting closer to turning a profit – but they’re going to need to continue making improvements to ensure that profits continue to rise.
Could an early release help HTC?
Again, there’s really no indication what the “For U” event could be about. It might be another mid-range device, which HTC is also well-known for producing. It might not be a smartphone at all. I do think the chances of it being a flagship smartphone are slim, but I wouldn’t consider it outside of the realm of possibilities. CES has a minor focus on smartphones, but Mobile World Congress, which will happen in late February and early March in 2017, is often where big brands showcase their flagships (last year’s MWC introduced the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5). The HTC 10 made its debut over a month later, on April 12. Along with its high price tag, another possible reason the 10 wasn’t more popular was because people already committed to buying the Galaxy S7 or the G5. HTC’s next flagship may have a better chance if they are the first to announce their flagship.
It’s only a thought, but I will keep my optimism for the possibility low. HTC has produced some of my favorite phones over the years, so I am rooting for them to stick around as long as possible. If nothing else, it is refreshing to have an upcoming event without so much as a single leak (yet) to spoil it.
Readers, what are your predictions for HTC’s mysterious event? What are you hoping to see? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!