Remember when HTC closely examined an iPhone 6‘s shell and decided that a more flattened home button and their very own logo were enough to rebrand it as “One A9” and call it a day? If you do — and are among those who ridiculed the company for such a blatant and shameless copy of what arguably is the most popular phone around — you’re in for some fun.

Apparently, the Taiwanese company did everything but a 180 in regards to the A9’s successor, and actually followed Cupertino’s footsteps even more closely…

Now, I know that we’re almost ten years into the — perhaps ending — smartphone “1.0” era and that there are only so many ways you can design and shape a screen-carrying rectangle — and HTC is far from the only OEM to go after Apple — but considering HTC’s position as a design leader and innovator (remember the One M7 back in 2013? Yeah.) seeing the One A9 branded as a phone with “design worth imitating” almost made me burst out laughing.

I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the troubled company was looking for some sort of relatively effortless cash cow, and while the case could’ve been made financially, it was a very bad decision looking at it basically any other way. Sure enough, the A9 was not exactly a showstopper, and mostly — albeit not universally — regarded as uninspired, overpriced and simply bland overall.

That would make you think that HTC would think twice before repeating the same mistake again, and the 10 sure did seem to represent a nice turn of events, blending HTC’s design philosophies nicely into a compelling package. So why, as reported by VentureBeat today, is the Asian OEM going even harder after Apple? You obviously expected the iPhone 6s to come after the iPhone 6, but the last thing in the world I would’ve predicted coming out of HTC is this year’s rumored… One A9s.

Yes, you read that well: given that there wasn’t enough talking about the two phones’ aesthetic similarities, HTC had the genius idea of naming the device’s successor precisely as the Cupertino firm does. This, of course, has to be intentional, and I am sincerely wondering what in the world would make HTC go down this route again.

As for the device itself, there doesn’t seem to be much of a departure from last year’s model, either; save for the removal of the HTC logo at the front and the rear eye’s placement, the device is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, while internals are currently unknown apart from the cameras, said to be again 13MP at the back and 5MP on the front (from 2015’s 4 UltraPixel module).

The One A9s should be officially announced on September 1, one day before Berlin’s IFA begins, so make sure to keep it locked here for all about the event.

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