HTC plans new high-end smartphone for April with ‘metaverse’ features
HTC sold most of its smartphone manufacturing business to Google in 2018, but the company hasn’t entirely retreated from the market. The Desire 21 Pro 5G was released a little over a year ago as a mid-range phone (pictured above), and now the company apparently wants to make another flagship phone.
HTC told DigiTimes at MWC 2022 this week that it plans to launch a new high-end smartphone in April of this year. The company’s last flagship smartphone was the Exodus 1 from December 2018, which advertised as a phone for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, with the ability to maintain a local crypto wallet. That device was a slightly-modified version of the HTC U12+, released earlier that year. Since then, HTC has only released budget and mid-range phones, most of which are exclusively sold in HTC’s home country of Taiwan.
However, there’s a twist: HTC reportedly plans to integrate certain “metaverse” functions in the smartphone. The metaverse is a loosly-defined marketing term/buzzword used for a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, usually relating to some level of interaction with other people through an online simulated environment.
HTC was an early leader in virtual reality with its Vive headsets, but it’s not clear how any of that could relate to a smartphone. Google killed off its Daydream VR environment for smartphones with the release of Android 11, so if HTC wanted to build a smartphone with a VR component, the company would have a lot of work ahead of it. It’s also not clear if this smartphone will actually be sold outside of Taiwan.
It’s also possible HTC’s upcoming smartphone has nothing to do with AR or VR, and the company is simply hoping for more attention on its products. HTC also released a video last month outlining its idea for “a day in the metaverse,” which involved buying wine with Bitcoin and purchasing NFTs in an art gallery.
Featured image: HTC Desire 21 Pro 5G