Yup, you did not read that wrong. According to an interview with udn.com, HTC‘s new CEO Yves Maitre said that the company will be launching their first 5G connected smartphone in 2020.
HTC’s a company that has been dialing back their investment in the smartphone space for a while now. This, despite being one of the early pioneers of the Android smartphone, was because the company’s mobile division has been struggling for some time now. Following that, the company refocused their efforts on developing their Virtual Reality (VR) division. In fact, Maitre himself has said that he anticipates HTC’s Xtended Reality (XR) offerings to exceed the mobile business in about five years.
That’s why this news comes as quite the surprise. Considering their previous halfhearted smartphone launches, many of us expected the company to just gradually phase out mobile devices. But it looks like this could be a turning point for HTC as a smartphone maker.
Now, unfortunately, Maitre didn’t provide any details on what this upcoming 5G smartphone could be. And, while I’m sure many of us would hope for one of their great flagship smartphones again, there’s no guarantee that this next device will be a high-end phone because both Qualcomm and MediaTek have 5G capable processors in the mid-range.
So, for all we know, it could just be another affordable Wildfire or Desire smartphone.
HTC has had a rough couple of years. Earlier this year we discovered that Apple’s AirPods (that’s the company’s TWS in-ear headphones) makes more money in two weeks than HTC’s entire product lineup did for the entirety of 2019. Headphones, generated more revenue than HTC’s entire product lineup.
Nevertheless, most of us on the Android camp will always have a soft spot for the quietly brilliant company, so we’re always hoping for a comeback. Whether that ends up working out or not, only time will tell.