Yesterday, HTC sent out invites for a presumed launch event scheduled to take place on February 19th in New York City and in London as well. The company remains mum on what exactly will be launched there but we expect it to be the long-rumored HTC M7 flagship that appears set to replace the HTC One X.
Over several weeks, the HTC M7 has made its presence known to the world in the form of leaked features, launch dates, release dates and even through photos and video. The device, which is thought to be the company’s upcoming flagship for 2013, is looking like a likely candidate to replace HTC’s 2012 flagship devices, the HTC One X and the HTC One X+.
The HTC One X of course was one of the most heralded Android devices of 2012 featuring a beautiful 4.7-inch LCD-2 display that up until recently was one of the best on the market, a dual-core processor, access to 4G LTE data, and one of the best cameras ever to grace an Android phone. And while it was a fantastic release, it didn’t sell as well as the Galaxy S3, likely due to a poor marketing campaign and the fact that it arrived on select carriers. AT&T was the only U.S. carrier to offer it.
Because of the device’s high standards and Samsung’s emergence as the premier Android manufacturer, the stakes are high for HTC’s 2013 flagship, the HTC M7.
Thus far, things are looking good as the device appears to have a 2013 pedigree. Rumors state that it will have a 4.7-inch display with 1080p resolution and 468 pixels-per-inch, a quad-core processor, Android Jelly Bean possibly Android 4.2 to go along with HTC Sense 5, a 13MP camera, a design like the Droid DNA and a bigger battery.
The device figures to be HTC’s answer to the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4, the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, and more. And it’s no wonder that consumers are wondering when it might come out.
With HTC planning an event for February 19th, it’s looking like it could be the HTC M7 launch date. Here is what to expect from HTC’s M7 launch date.
February 19th is Likely
While HTC hasn’t explicitly said what the launch date on February the 19th is for, we assume that it’s likely going to be for the HTC M7. First, it was a date that was rumored to be the HTC M7’s launch date prior to the invite. Second, we know of no other HTC device that would warrant this type of launch with events taking place in two different cities.
It’s possible that we won’t know exactly what HTC has up its sleeve until February 19th, but at this point, consumers should not expect the company to unveil a device that doesn’t resemble the oft-leaked HTC M7.
Focus Solely on Phone
We think the focus of the event will likely be on the HTC M7, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the only one in the spotlight. Instead, look for HTC to use some of the time to trump up its new HTC Sense 5 software that has already been rumored to be coming with the HTC M7.
HTC Sense 5 has leaked out several times suggesting the inclusion of a new lock screen and new settings toggles at the least. However, with Samsung making huge strides with its Nature UX, we believe HTC really has to deliver a sound software experience to separate itself as a viable option. Either that or go completely Vanilla but that seems unlikely.
Instead, look for HTC to also heavily focus on the new HTC Sense software at the event and not just the HTC M7 itself. If we’re lucky, we may just see the best version of HTC Sense yet.
Lack of Details
In past events, we’ve seen Android manufacturers announce devices that were light on the important details, namely, release date and pricing. A perfect example of this was Sony’s CES 2013 announcement of the Sony Xperia Z, a highly anticipated Android smartphone.
At the HTC M7 launch event, don’t expect the company to be light on the details for both global regions and for the U.S. There is a reason why it is announcing the device at two separate events, one in London and one in New York. It’s because it wants to deliver the news to everyone, not just those abroad, something that would have happened with a MWC 2013 launch.
Something else to keep in mind is competition. HTC has no wiggle room with the iPhone 5 on shelves and the Galaxy S4 lying in wait. It needs to deliver the details to interested consumers now rather than later.
Don’t expect to watch an event without any specific release date and pricing.
Congruent U.S. Release Dates
The iPhone 5 release on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon fell on the same day. However, don’t expect HTC to announce something similar for the HTC M7.
As we’ve seen with many of the big name Android phones, carriers dictate when the device will launch. Most recently, we saw it with the Galaxy Note 2’s staggered release that took place over the span of October and November.
Don’t expect HTC’s M7 to have the kind of leverage that the iPhone does. Instead, U.S. customers should expect to see several different release dates announced at the event if the device does land on several carriers as rumored.
Thus far, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are rumored with T-Mobile remaining a possibility as well.
Big Surprises Aside from the M7
At these big launch events, we often see some surprises. Examples include Motorola’s new Jelly Bean policy at the Droid RAZR MAXX HD launch event, the Wireless Charging Orb at the Nexus 4’s and some nifty accessories at the Galaxy S3 launch back in June. Oh, and let’s not forget the Nexus Q at the Nexus 7’s launch at Google I/O.
We suspect that there could be some unknown HTC M7 features that could arrive but in the past, HTC has been a dud when it comes to announcements that were kept hidden until launch day.
HTC has struggled to keep the HTC M7 locked down and we have a feeling that if there are indeed other announcements, they will likely emerge before the event begins.
That said, don’t go into the event expecting anything other than the HTC M7 and HTC Sense 5.