HTC U11+ Was Originally the HTC-Made Google Pixel 2 XL (Muskie)
When rumors started circulating about the 2017 Pixel smartphones, we originally heard about two different devices with the codename Walleye and Taimen. Shortly after, we heard about a third device called Muskie, so many were thinking there would be three new Pixel phones for the year. That didn’t end up being the case as Muskie was seemingly cancelled, but a new rumor says it wasn’t completely cancelled (or scrapped) and was just rebranded to be a new flagship for HTC, the U11+.
This story starts all the way back in March of this year when we first heard about the codenames for the two Pixel smartphones for this year. Walleye came to be the smaller Pixel 2 and so that left Muskie to be the bigger brother in the Pixel 2 XL. However, shortly after this report we heard that a 3rd model was being introduced with the codename Taimen. Taimen is actually what we know of as the Pixel 2 XL, which is manufactured by LG but this left people wondering what happened to Muskie.
Three months later, another rumor started circulating around the Android community saying the device with the codename Muskie, aka the Pixel XL successor, had been cancelled. There wasn’t any reason given about its demise other than Google deciding on opting for a bigger device than what was originally planned. Things stayed quiet about Muskie until last month when we found references to the device in the AOSP repository.
Today, a new rumor from The Verge, which cites “a source familiar with HTC and Google’s tumultuous recent history,” says that HTC took the plans of what was going to be Muskie and re-branded it to the HTC U11+. We can see some design similarities with its large 6″ 18:9 display, the rear fingerprint scanner. It’s still unknown why Google decided to ditch their plans to launch Muskie and instead turned to LG for the Pixel 2 XL, but it’s interesting to see how HTC pivoted once the decision was made.
Source: The Verge