HTC seeks to counter-program iPhone 5 with HTC One

HTC set to try and counter-program iPhone 5 with HTC One

It's that time of year again. The iPhone 5 is almost 6 months old, and if Apple stays to pattern, we won't see an iPhone 5s -- or whatever they call it -- for several more months to come. So it's absolutely the perfect time for competitors to start counter-programming. BlackBerry has already announced the BlackBerry Z10, though it won't be shipping in the US until next month. So now, HTC, who pretty much invented the counter-programming strategy with the original Google Nexus One back 2010, is hoping to work some of that magic again with the HTC One. And they're hoping to start working it today. Here it is on paper:

  • Android 4.1.2 with HTC Sense 5
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz
  • "UltraPixel" camera with 2.0 μm, Sensor size 1/3', F2.0 aperture and 28 mm lens. BSI and OIS. (So less but bigger pixels for overall better quality)
  • Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
  • 4.7 inch, 1080p, 468ppi display

Those specs are probably going to be a big part of their story, as HTC has a long history of making phone hardware so bleeding edge is borders on porn. While HTC has always made great products -- I loved everything from my Palm Treo Pro to my Nexus One -- they've struggled in recent years to find mindshare in the face of not only Apple and the iPhone, but Samsung and their Galaxy S lineup as well. I much preferred last year's HTC One X to Samsung's Galaxy S3, yet consumers voting with their wallets gave almost all the money to Samsung. Yes, the battle between Android manufacturers is at least, if not more urgent than the battle between iOS and Android. HTC is going to need to grab attention back from Samsung before they even begin to worry about Apple (and Samsung is rumored to have a Galaxy S4 on the horizon as well...)

I love gadgets, so I love this time of year. Great companies making great teach, raising every bar they can in a battle for our attention and our money is the best kind of market to be in. It's much, much better when they're fighting over us than when we're fighting over them.

Apple isn't going to make their next big move until later in the year. For now, we get to see what the competition has up their sleeves for 2013. That starts today, and it starts with HTC.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

HTC seeks to counter-program iPhone 5 with HTC One

11 Comments

You give too much credence to the "counter-programming Apple" idea. Especially in regard to HTC. They've lost the game with respect to their brand and their relationship with carriers. You could argue that they never got over the hump in transitioning from an ODM to their own unique brand.

They had a window in the 2010-2011 time frame to do that, but somewhere along the way Samsung ate their lunch (relationship to Google and carriers/operators), and I'm not sure they can pull away from the Huaweis and ZTEs of the world, who are quickly catching up. I suspect this all has nothing to do with Apple.

I agree. HTC went with One branding (inspired by Samsung) but somehow couldn't resist screwing up by making so many versions of it. One x, one this, one that. ..

So here's HTC back to the drawing board apparently with a lesson learned on marketing (finally just One phone) and taking a few more additional cues from Samsung when it comes to copying a certain fruit company. Might be too little too late though.

So, that camera sensor is 4 inches across?

Oh, and please put the Captcha in the comment form. It's rather tiresome to click "submit" and THEN get hit with a "you did not fill out all the required items" type error.

Its working because this is my next phone Android for me does a better phone then Apple and HTC is my favorite android maker with Sense that I like much more than any mobile UI and I might be the only one.

It doesn't matter what HTC does as long as some version of Sense is on their phones. Sense UI sucks. And a 4MP camera that we're supposed to believe is superior to every 8MP camera in existence? Sure. Good luck with that, HTC. Waiting for a full review to see how that stacks up.

Actually, there is a very good possibility that their 4MP phone camera is in fact better than most 8MP phone cameras. The pixel count isn't everything, and in the cases of phones, more is not necessarily better. Better is better.

How large do you need the image to be? Is it going to be printed out, or only shown on an electronic display? That 4MP camera has almost twice the resolution of my desktop display. How about yours? It would only fall down when it comes to printing, as a high quality print will start to degrade visually at about 6x4 inches. And considering that MOST people using camera phones do so only to post to Twitter/Facebook/G+/Pinterest, a .3MP camera would suffice.

With a choice of more pixels vs better pixels, choose better. If you want more, get a real camera with better lenses (point&shoot or DSLR) from Nikon or Canon.

We'll see when someone does a full review. Everything sounds good in theory but in reality, it may not stack up to any of the current phones, much less new versions of the current phones. I don't buy into anyone's hype. Reviews of this phone will prove whether or not this "revolutionary new camera phone tech" is all it's cracked up to be.