I'm old enough to remember when HTC had the lion's share of attention when it came to Android smartphones. I can remember all of the praise for the company's original Hero smartphone, and it's still the only phone I've ever had imported for my own personal use. It was a great handset, and HTC would appear to hold a commanding lead --as far as brand awareness is concerned-- for a little while after that.
But nothing is forever, and eventually it would be Samsung that would take up that mantle.
Despite the fact that there are a lot of great smartphones out there from various companies, it feels like Samsung is just too big to take down these days. Despite having a major battery fiasco with the Galaxy Note 7, and middle-of-the-road sales over the years, the company still has a demanding lead over the competition.
Meanwhile, it feels like HTC has effectively faded out almost entirely. The company recently launched a niche phone not too long ago, for the cryptocurrency crowd, but it actually took me a few minutes to remember the company's last high-end smartphone for the public. The U12+ launched in the middle of last year -- with no direct replacement announced this year.
HTC has five smartphones available directly from its website right now. I took a quick gander at the major wireless carriers in the United States and it doesn't look like HTC has a presence there at all anymore. Just a lot of support documents for older handsets, unfortunately.
I don't know if it's worse, especially considering the general lack of availability, but I haven't seen an HTC-branded smartphone out in the wild in ages. Honestly, the last one I can remember is one I owned, because I was feeling kind of crazy and I wanted to switch back to Windows Phone (yes, Windows Phone, not even Windows 10 Mobile yet).
And, hey, people must be using these phones. After all, the company just released the Android Pie software update to the U12+ earlier this week. I don't think HTC would even bother with the update if there weren't some number of people actually using the handset. Or maybe they would.
And that's what I'm curious about. Are you using an HTC smartphone right now, and, if so, which one and why did you choose it? If you aren't, can you recall the last time you saw an HTC phone out in the wild? Bonus: what would it take for you to consider switching to an HTC smartphone, whether it was high-end or mid-range? Let me know!