HTC’s upcoming January 12th event carries a rather generic “for U” invitation. The latest rumors point to three new devices this quarter, with the first possibly being an underwhelming phablet. However, a leaked video from Evleaks shows that HTC might be focussing on customization and possibly a Vive phone.
The first video opines about how today’s phones “fail to emotionally connect with the people that buy them” and how HTC is solving that problem by experimenting with “unlikely” colors, materials, and finishes.
A sneak peak into what the company is “cooking up” shows phone backs with swirls of color (Chemicals), made from cloth (Super Fibers), and others that have a range of colors (Litmus). The focus appears to be on making phones that are not just a single solid color.
[Update 1/8: While it has been noted that the original video (since removed) is from an HTC designer in June, an actual phone is shown off. From 45-51 seconds, a casing spray painted with dots is highlighted. This device is likely the Desire 530 introduced in February with a “micro splash styling” that is unique to each phone. It gives credence that the video isn’t entirely conceptually.]
However, the most interesting tidbit from this video is a phone shown off towards the end that carries the Vive branding. The metal phone has antenna lines on all four sides with a horizontal logo that features HTC along with the Vive logo and name.
HTC’s one area of mass success in recent years has been its Vive VR headset. Presumably, a Vive phone would be used for mobile VR in conjunction with a portable headset and controller. There is precedent with Samsung and Oculus partnering together on the Gear VR. Of course, such a move would be snub to Google’s up-and-coming Daydream platform.
There is also a second video that shows off the HTC Ocean again. Confirmed to be nothing more than a concept made by an HTC designer, the live video shows how using the sides of a phone as jog dial might actually be rather clever.
The first leaked video lines up rather well with the “for U” tagline of HTC’s upcoming event. We will have to wait till then to see whether this leaked footage is actually something the company is planning or just an internal concept that will not come to fruition.