HTC at MWC 2012: what to expect

Features Richard Goodwin 17:14, 20 Feb 2012

We take a look at what you can expect to see from HTC at this year’s Mobile World Congress 2012 expo

The end of February is almost upon us and that can only mean one thing: Mobile World Congress 2012. As usual there will be hundreds of product launches, lots of parties and more than a few surprises. All the big players, bar, of course, a few notable exceptions, will be launching new devices and services at the three day event in Barcelona.

HTC is expected to make quite a splash at MWC 2012 launching new handsets, tablets and services. The Taiwanese manufacturer, following below par Q4 results, clearly wants to hit the ground running in 2012. And judging by the leaks we’ve seen thus far it looks like HTC is moving in the right direction.

Here’s what we know about so far:

Ice White HTC Sensation
HTC has already announced the ‘Ice White’ HTC Sensation but it will be the first time we’ve had a proper look at what a HTC Sensation handset will look like in white. Now this isn’t all that interesting, if we’re honest. We’ve seen plenty of Sensation-branded handsets during the past 12 months with the Sensation XL and the Sensation XE. 

The big USP with this new Sensation handset, besides its colour, is that it’ll ship with Android Ice Cream Sandwich. All the other specs – CPU, display, camera, RAM and storage – are exactly the same as the original HTC Sensation. Taking into account HTC’s Q4 performance, we’d have expected a lot more from the company’s first release of the year.

Music Streaming Service
Not content with owning the lion’s share of Beats Audio, HTC also has designs on the music business proper and wants to launch it’s own music streaming service that will rival iTunes, Google Music and Spotify. HTC is expected to make an announcement regarding this new service as MWC 2012.

According to GigaOM, this new music service would be the default client on all new lines of HTC smartphones and tablets. No doubt HTC will be putting its connections with Beats Audio co-owner Jimmy Lovine – the man that started Interscope Records – in order to offer up a viable alternative to Google Music on the Android platform.

‘Instead of selling and buying individual songs through an online music marketplace like iTunes,’ says Rolling Stone, ‘HTC is looking into streaming options more similar to the Spotify strategy. Pricing for subscription plans to the new streaming model were not made available, although more details could be officially unveiled as early as this month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.’

This could potentially be a very big deal for HTC, as well as a huge new revenue stream. Providing HTC can somehow diversify its music service then it might be able to win some customers. But competition is rife in the music market with Apple, Google and Microsoft all now having established services. Is there room for HTC? Possibly – but its service will have to have some pretty unique attributes. 

Also known as the HTC Edge, the One X is expected to be HTC’s first-ever quad core handset. We’ve seen plenty of leaks regarding this handset including images, specs and videos during the past couple of months. Launching on Android 4.0, the One X will feature a 4.7-inch 720p S-LCD display, dual camera set-up, 1GB of RAM, as well as 32GB of internal storage, which, along with the handset’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, is another first for HTC.

The HTC One X, according to reports, is a definite MWC launch and will do battle with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Apple’s iPhone 5 in 2012. We have some pretty big expectations riding on this handset, so we hope it doesn’t disappoint.

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