At the Mobile World Congress, the Taiwan-based company revealed its updated phone roster with the One X, One S and One V, running on Android 4.0 software, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich.” These phones incorporate Beats Audio enhancement software, illustrating the company’s dedication to enhancing its entertainment capabilities, which HTC wants to make available on a number of U.S. carriers.
The One X is the largest handset, with a 4.7 inch screen, boasting an 8 megapixel camera. The One S is similar, with a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen and the same camera. The One V is HTC’s Legend phone rebranded, with the same chin design and a 3.7-inch screen.
HTC’s simplified roster fulfills the company’s promise to hone in on entertainment as a selling point. The new phones integrate Beats Audio software and stand out with their sleek incorporation of a number of music apps like Spotify and Soundhound. In addition, the phones feature free Dropbox storage, allowing users to effortlessly back up their media.
“Getting music on a phone is still hard for people,” CEO Peter Chou said. “HTC One makes it easy.”
The One series comes packed with features designed to make enjoying entertainment easier. The One X features an innovative Wi-Fi display system, “Media Link HD”, which allows users to link up the phone’s screen to their television. This feature shows HTC’s commitment to simplifying entertainment on phones, enabling an easy link-up between media devices.
HTC took full advantage of its partnership with Beats Audio, using the music technology as a selling point on its new line. HTC’s upcoming agreement with PlayStation is likely to bring about an increased focus on its handsets’ gaming potential.
PlayStation licensed its PlayStation Suite to the Taiwanese company, allowing users to buy games at the PlayStation store compatible with their HTC smartphones. HTC has yet to reveal whether the One line will feature PlayStation Suite, but if it does not, it will likely not be long until HTC rolls out an updated line with the capabilities.
In addition to fortifying its entertainment and gaming portfolio, HTC hopes its simplified branding will attract customers. HTC wants to keep its product names consistent whether it sells through AT&T, Verizon, or other carriers, but the company will likely experience difficulty doing so. If HTC convinces the carriers to keep its simple line name, consumers will have an easier time sussing out the best deals, and remembering the product name.
Carriers may resist HTC’s branding scheme, since the company intends to market the phones in the same way for each company. U.S. carriers typically require unique names and slightly different specs for each phone, which can make quick price comparisons difficult.
HTC is betting big on its new line in the wake of a poor fourth quarter performance, putting a premium on innovative audio and establishing partnerships with entertainment and gaming leaders to attract crowds. The company will wait until April, when the phones ship globally, to see if its gamble paid off.