Analysts react to HTC One M9 launch

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A number of industry analysts have given their opinion on the challenge for HTC with the launch of the M9

Analysts say that HTC faces a challenge to convince users to upgrade their existing handset to the latest version of its flagship phone.

The device, launched at a press conference in Barcelona earlier today, has marginally increased the specifications of its predecessor, the One M8.

It has a 5-inch display full HD display, 20MP camera, a 4 ultra pixel camera (the same as the M 8’s main camera) on the front, 32GB of internal memory, 3GB of RAM and a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

CCS Insight chief of research Ben Wood said that “failure was not an option” for the device.

He tweeted: “(The) M9 (is) attractive but needs elusive big marketing budget.”

“HTC’s challenge with the One M9 smartphone is how to drive sales with a smartphone iterative design. Samsung struggled with its Galaxy S5 to convince consumers it was different to the previous years’ S4, while Apple proved with the new form factor iPhone 6 design that it is relatively easily to increase year-on-year shipments markedly,” said IHS head of technology Ian Fogg.

“HTC has fixed the main issues with 2014’s M8. The rear camera now has comparable megapixels to rivals, the front facing camera is now better for selfie’s, and the metal industrial design now has an attractive two tone finish. But, overall the changes are modest.

“Most significant is that in a year where Qualcomm is coming under pressure from chipset rivals, the One M9 represents another design win for Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 810, following the LG Flex 2 and Xiaomi Mi Note.”

“Left in the dust”

uSwitch mobiles analyst Rob Kerr praised the decision to change the rear-facing camera from the four Ultra-pixel sensor found on the HTC One (M8) to a 20 megapixel snapper.

He said: “Realising that 4 megapixels won’t cut it any more, HTC has finally added a much-improved 20-megapixel camera to its flagship line up.

“It must have been a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment when HTC realised it had been left in the dust while its competitors were on to double megapixel digits. But is this improvement to its camera too late?

“There is very little innovation to be seen in the M9. The five-inch 1080p screen remains the same as the M8’s, while other phone makers have moved on to 2K displays.

“There are slight improvements to the Android HTC overlay which will eventually work its way down to older models, which throws up the burning question: why bother upgrading to the M9 at all?”

Abby Francis, Mobiles Expert at Mobiles.co.uk, comments on the launch of the HTC One M9: “The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor is the standout feature for the M9, offering glitch-free entertainment capabilities within an updated, polished shell.

“Smartphone users who want smooth graphics, quick loading times for all media and an instantaneous response to touch should have plenty to explore in this eagerly-awaited handset.”

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