HTC Teases New Phone 16 Years After Launching The First Android Smartphone

Side view of a smartphone in amid a space background with the words "Coming Soon" and "HTC" underneath.
HTC is apparently getting ready to make a glorious comeback into the realm of smartphones, a sector it never truly abandoned but hasn't been active in for a very long time. Teased on a post on X/Twitter, the official account for HTC posted a side shot of a mysterious smartphone hovering in a space-themed background, saying it's "coming soon."

How soon? According to the post, HTC will make an announcement on June 12, 2024. That's less than a week away (next Wednesday). The only other blurbs in the post are a couple of hashtags, those being #ALLFORU and #HTC. At the time of this writing, the post has over 866,000 views, 7,900 likes, and 1,700 reposts. It's safe to say that HTC has piqued a fair amount of interest.

Holding an HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) with the display slid out in front of a blue sky and some trees in the background.

Rear shot of the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) with the display slid out.

Deservedly so, given HTC's history in the smartphone space. Back in 2008, HTC launched the world's first Android smartphone, the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1), for a pittance compared to what smartphones sell for today. Not only did I buy one back in the day, I still own it (pictured above). It had a slide-out display to reveal a physical QWERTY keyboard (remember those?), 256MB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, and 3G connectivity.

Side angled view of the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) in front of a lawn and tree.

It was a slick device for the time period, and somewhat moddable. I had swapped the battery that's enclosed in the back case for a more capacious one, and opted for a white back cover to contrast the phone's black color scheme, for a tuxedo aesthetic. On the software side, I tooled around with custom ROMs like CyangenMOD (Cyangen later teamed up with Qualcomm) and wrote some guides on how to install them. Ah, memories.

HTC had a good run in the following years, though increasing competition took a toll on sales. Samsung in particular cut into HTC's market share, and Apple's iPhone lineup was of course a success as well. Despite some follow-up hits like the HTC One M7 and later the One M8, the company was unable to keep up with its competitors and ended up selling a big chunk of its hardware business and Android development team to Google in 2018 for $1.1 billion, as part of a non-exclusive licensing deal. Since then, HTC has been much more focused on VR with its lineup of Vive headsets.
Now it appears as though HTC is interested in making another run at the smartphone business. While there's not much information to go on contained in the X/Twitter post, speculation is that HTC is teasing the release of the U24 Pro, an unofficial smartphone that broke cover earlier this year in the Google Play Console and also on Geekbench.

Based on those leaks, the U24 Pro is expected to feature a 2426x1080 resolution display powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor and 12GB of RAM. Those aren't flagship-tier specs, but HTC could make a splash in the mid-range market, depending on pricing, features, and finalized hardware.

Stay tuned—assumed HTC's account wasn't hacked, we'll find out for sure next week.
Tags:  Android, smartphone, HTC