The HTC Corporation (TPE:2498) was expected to launch an updated “premium” version of its latest smartphone called the HTC One M8 Prime later this year, but according to a tweet Friday from Evan Blass, a.k.a. @evleaks, the manufacturer has decided to suspend the device’s production “indefinitely."
“If you were salty at having purchased an HTC One (M8) when news of the M8 Prime hit, prepare to feel vindicated: development on Prime has been suspended indefinitely,” @evleaks reported, having released an image earlier this month he said was a 360-degree render of the rumored device.
The HTC One M8 Prime was rumored to have more powerful hardware specifications, or specs, than the HTC One M8 to compete with LG’s recently announced G3 and other premium handsets. The Prime’s specs supposedly included a 5.5-inch display with Quad HD (qHD), along with a Snapdragon 805 chipset and ceramic body.
Others say the Taiwanese manufacturer still has plans for a higher-end version of the One M8 called the HTC One M8 Plus. Tech blog 9to5Google claims sources close to HTC say it plans to release the Plus with a 5.2-inch display containing a “higher pixel count than any smartphone on the market.” The HTC One M8 Plus is said to feature 3GB of RAM and possibly a “water-resistant” body.
Parts of the site’s report, however, seem out of step with HTC’s recent camera strategies: 9to5Google said its source claims the HTC One M8 Plus will feature a single, 13-megapixel camera, foregoing the two main cameras included on the M8. HTC calls the system Duo, and touts the unique setup as a major feature of its flagship M8.
In April, the company released a Dual Lens software development kit, or SDK preview, asking independent Android developers to come up with new and interesting ways to use the tech. Jad Boniface, director of HTCdev, the company’s developer outreach program, says the Duo camera is likely an early example of a wave of devices touting multiple cameras.
“It’s definitely something that we’re committed to,” Boniface told the International Business Times. He said Google's Project Tango, an experimental smartphone that uses four camera sensors to create a 3D map of indoor spaces, will spur other manufacturers to follow suit.
“Going forward, I think you’re going to certainly see other players in the space that have something similar,” Boniface said. When IBTimes asked if consumers could expect to see Duo in future products from HTC, he declined to comment.
The report said HTC also plans to release a lower-priced version of the One M8 with updated hardware, called the HTC One M8 Advance. The Advance would contain the same high-end specs found in the waterproof Plus, but in a low-cost plastic body for the Asian market.
Over a billion smartphones were sold in China in 2013, dominated by the likes of Huawei and Lenovo. Manufacturers have succeeded there by selling smartphones with large, high-resolution displays and high-end hardware at a significantly lower retail price than the likes of Samsung (KRX:005930) or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).