HTC Reveals Android Nougat Update Schedule; Backtracks on One A9 Promise

HTC Reveals Android Nougat Update Schedule; Backtracks on One A9 Promise

  • HTC had promised Android update 15 days after it hit Nexus devices
  • The company has now delayed the update release to the fourth quarter
  • HTC 10, One M9, One A9 to receive the update

When HTC launched the One A9 earlier this year, it made a promise to release every Android update within 15 days of its rollout to Nexus devices. However, the company just released a tweet confirming that it doesn’t plan to do that. Google released the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat this week, and HTC soon announced its timeline for the update on HTC 10, HTC One M9, and HTC One A9, however it is nowhere near the speed that was promised.

The HTC 10 will be the first to get the Android 7.0 Nougat update (with the HTC Sense skin on top) sometime in the fourth quarter. The HTC One M9 and HTC One A9 will receive it soon after. This is in contrast with what HTC had promised in March. After the launch of One A9, HTC proclaimed that the unlocked version of the smartphone will get “every” Android update “within 15 days” of when it first gets pushed to Google’s Nexus devices.

While we aren’t sure the amount of asterisks that were attached to this statement, the company hasn’t kept its word of a 15-day update release promise. In any case, HTC is currently selling the HTC 10 at a discount of $100 (roughly Rs. 6,700) in the US. It has also introduced two new colour variants in limited quantities, and the discount offer will last only till the end of this month.

 Google has confirmed that the first new smartphone to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box will be the upcoming LG V20. The smartphone is set to launch on September 6 in San Francisco, and is touted to sport a dual camera setup, and a second screen.

 

HTC to Bring One A9’s Design to M and Desire Series Smartphones

HTC is all set to bring the One A9’s design to its upcoming smartphones in the premium M-series and mid-range Desire family.

Jack Tong, President, HTC North Asia, at a press briefing confirmed the company plans and said, “Starting with the One A9, our design language will enter a different and fashionable phase.”

Tong had earlier defended the company from reports that it had copied the iPhone 6 design with the One A9, saying that HTC was the first to feature a metal body with the antenna bands on the rear panel, a design which was later “copied” by Apple. He also described (via Focus Taiwan) the design of the HTC One A9 as a “milestone” in the company’s lineup.

The decision to bring the One A9 design to other HTC phones clearly seems to be an attempt to attract consumers with an all-new appearance. We already know that the new One-series handset from HTC is its latest attempt to position itself a good “alternative to the iPhone,” as claimed by Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO HTC, ahead of the One A9 launch. It will be interesting to see what consumer feedback the One A9 gets when it goes on sale next month.

The latest One A9 has already seen a lot of controversy around its design which has been referred to as “copied from Apple” by several media reports. The HTC One A9 does appear to be slightly reminiscent of the iPhone 6, including the physical button that sits below the screen. Priced at $399.99 (approximately Rs. 26,000) for the unlocked version, the HTC One A9 is now available for pre-orders in the US.

The Taiwanese company has been struggling with its mid and premium range smartphones and reported a second straight quarterly loss earlier this month. Last month, Taiwan’s stock exchange removed HTC from its index of blue chip companies, indicating the decline of a popular Taiwanese brand in some recent years.

Back in August, HTC, after posting its biggest ever quarterly loss, announced it would cut over 2,000 jobs, equalling 15 percent of its workforce.

HTC Executive on iPhone-Like A9: Apple Is the Real Copycat

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With the launch of its One A9 this week, HTC saw several reports refer to the new handset as an ‘iPhone clone’ in terms of design. The Taiwanese company has now defended itself, with a company claiming that Apple copied HTC and not vice-versa. Jack Tong, President, HTC North Asia, at a press briefing in Taiwan (via Want ChinaTimes) went on to claim that HTC was the first to feature a metal body with the antenna bands on the rear panel, a design which was later “copied” by Apple.

He was referring to HTC’s first One-series handset, the One aka One M7 unveiled in 2013, and which sport antenna design at the back. “The A9 is made thinner and more lightweight than our previous metal-clad phones. This is a change and evolution, and we’re not copying,” he added, emphasising the company’s design language has been evolving.

Of course, HTC’s latest handset is not the first to have been accused of stealing the iPhone’s design, with innumerable other manufacturers taking the liberty to borrow design elements, and the world’s largest mobile manufacturer, Samsung, has spent much time in litigation against these claims. While it would be difficult to argue exactly who is copying whom across the mobile industry, it is safe to say there are some common elements across a lot of smartphones today.

apple_iphone6_plus_silver_press_image.jpgThe HTC One A9 does appear to be slightly reminiscent of the iPhone 6, including the physical button that sits below the screen, certainly more so than any of its recent handsets. Priced at $399.99 (approximately Rs. 26,000) for the unlocked version, the HTC One A9 is now available for pre-orders in the US and will go on sale in November.

The new One-series handset from HTC is its latest attempt to position itself a good “alternative to the iPhone,” as claimed by Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO HTC, ahead of the One A9 launch.

HTC One A9 With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, iPhone-Like Design Launched

HTC on Tuesday unveiled the HTC One A9, the latest addition to the company’s family of One smartphone that looks similar to Apple’s iPhone. The HTC One A9 will go on sale starting November and has been priced at $399.99 (approximately Rs. 26,000) for the unlocked version. There’s no word yet on India price and availability. US pre-orders for the HTC One A9 kicked off Tuesday via the company’s online store.

The Taiwanese manufacturer is bundling some offers such as the ‘Uh-Oh’ protection plan that will offer a free phone replacement in the case of a cracked screen, water damage, or a carrier switch within the first twelve months from the date of purchase. The company is also giving away 6 months of Google Play Music subscription. The smartphone will be available in Carbon Grey, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold, and Deep Garnet colour variants. As had been tipped in several leaks, the HTC One A9 comes with a physical button that sits below the screen, and a design that is highly reminiscent of the iPhone 6. The smartphone sports an all-metal body.

Ahead of the One A9 launch, Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO HTC, had even claimed that the new One smartphone could be a good “alternative to the iPhone.”

One of the most notable features of HTC’s new One A9 smartphone is the guarantee for Android updates. At the launch, HTC America President, Jason Mackenzie, promised that the unlocked HTC One A9 will receive every Android OS update within 15 days of the Nexus range. In a tweet, the company said, “The unlocked A9 will receive every Google SW update within 15 days of Nexus devices!” HTC is definitely pushing its One A9 as an Android device that will receive updates as soon as Nexus devices, something the dated Google Play Edition devices promised. However, we will have to wait to see whether the company is able to meet its promise as the company has previously missed its OS update deadlines.

The HTC One A9 will be available in two inbuilt storage and RAM versions- 16GB with 2GB RAM, and 32GB with 3GB RAM, with both supporting expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB). The company however has specified that the versions will vary by markets indicating that some markets may only get one storage variant.

For specifications, the HTC One A9 by an all-new 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor with 1.5GHz quad-core and 1.2GHz quad-core modules. Running Android 6.0 Marshmallowwith HTC Sense skin on top, the HTC One A9 is the company’s first Marshmallow-based handset.

Featuring a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, the One A9 also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. There is a 13-megapixel rear camera with sapphire cover lens. It comes with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), support for 1080p video recording, and a LED flash module. The smartphone will sport a 4-megapixel UltraPixel front-facing fixed-focus camera. It is powered by a 2150mAh battery.

Connectivity options include 4G LTE, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Micro-USB. The company listing confirms that the HTC One A9 supports Indian LTE bands.

Other notable features include fingerprint sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyro, and magnetic sensor.

The company also showcased some accessories for the One A9 smartphone including the Dot View cases which will be available as the HTC Dot View II case and will come in Obsidian, Deep Garnet, Sea Coral and Turquoise Blue colours beginning next month.

Commenting on the launch, Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC said, “HTC is a smartphone pioneer, having delivered the first Android smartphone, the first Windows smartphone, the first 4G smartphone, and the first all-metal smartphone. Today [Tuesday] we’re taking that heritage of innovation to the next level, unveiling a phone that stands apart in a market increasingly dominated by a company which controls every aspect of your phone. The HTC One A9 breaks from this trend by offering an incredible design, fantastic performance, cutting-edge software features and the freedom to take full control of your smartphone experience.”