This year’s HTC One M9 wasn’t a huge leap forward in terms of design, though the specs got a decent bump. We’re now expecting big things from the 2016 HTC One M10, if the Taiwanese firm sees fit to release one, and the early indications are that HTC will indeed unveil another flagship next year.
We’ve collected together all the rumours and hearsay we’ve come across so far, but don’t bet your house on any of it until we’ve heard something official from HTC. While many leaks from inside the smartphone supply chain turn out to be accurate, companies can always change their minds on specs and design.
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What is the HTC One M10?
The flagship HTC One M10 is the phone we’re expecting in 2016 to replace the HTC One M9 that debuted this March. That name is a guess by the way, but after the M8 in 2014, the M9 in 2015 and the M7 name that was retroactively given to the HTC One from 2013, it’s an educated guess at least. HTC can certainly claim to be making some of the most distinctive Android phones at the moment.
Despite strong competition from Samsung, LG, Sony and the up-and-coming Chinese manufacturers, HTC engineers have stuck to their own path, focusing on a unique-looking chassis, improved camera optics and best-in-class audio. Those in the know are saying the HTC One M9 hasn’t sold terribly well, but there’s no indication yet that HTC is going to give up.
The Taiwanese company has several other handsets in the pipeline for the coming months besides the M10, so it would be a surprise if the firm wasn’t working on a top-end phone in time for March or April next year.
What do we think we know about it?
The HTC One M9+ (unfortunately not available in the UK right now) is something of a stop-gap between the HTC One M9 and whatever comes next, and it gives us some indication of what the M10 might look like. Again, the same distinctive chassis design is present and correct, but the screen and processor get a boost.
We think the HTC One M10 will also have a QHD (1440 x 2560 pixel) resolution – the HTC One M9 sticks with a rather underwhelming 1080 x 1920 pixels – and should also tackle some of the camera problems that have dogged this year’s flagship (and which HTC released a patch to try and address). So you can look forward to a better screen, a better camera and a better processor (quite possibly the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820).
On top of that it sounds likely that HTC is going to try and tackle the issue of battery life too, so don’t be surprised to see the handset arrive packing some serious mAh.
Why it’s likely to happen
As we’ve already mentioned, HTC has shown no signs of quitting the smartphone game yet (the company is smaller and leaner than the likes of Samsung and LG), and if it’s going to carry the fight to its rivals then a 2016 flagship is essential. We could see new innovations like wireless charging, but for that to happen HTC would have to rework the design and materials used for the case — CEO Cher Wang has already confirmed that the company is looking to freshen up the look and feel of its phone for the next wave of handsets, which means the M10 could look significantly different to the M9.
Samsung and HTC both revealed their 2015 phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in the spring, and it’s a pretty good bet that the scheduling will be the same next year – although a lot can change between now and then. We’d say the M10 is very likely to appear, and when it does arrive it’ll be carrying the hopes of HTC as a whole on its shoulders.
The potential impact
While Android dominates the global market in terms of market share, actually making money from an Android phone is more difficult than you might think, and all the major players are finding it difficult to turn a profit. HTC is in the same boat and with so much competition to contend with, it’s going to have to pull out all the stops to make a major impact with the HTC One M10 next year.
The good news for consumers is better specifications and more features to play around with as the manufacturers look to stand out from the crowd. HTC isn’t afraid to plough its own furrow and there might be one or two surprises from the company by the time that spring 2016 rolls around – in the meantime we should have new phones from the likes of Apple and Google to consider too.
Until we know more about what HTC is planning and more about the lay of the smartphone land in 2016, it’s difficult to assess just what kind of impact the HTC One M10 is going to have. What we do know is it’s going to need to be a special handset to make a mark, so it’s going to be worth looking out for.
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