No sooner does HTC release its One M8 flagship do we start hearing rumors of all sorts of new spin-offs.

Perhaps the most exciting of these is the HTC One M8 Prime, a phone which is said to improve on the HTC One M8 with more powerful innards, a better screen and more changes besides.

While it's exciting it's also questionable, as it seems odd that HTC would want to cannibalise the sales of the One M8, which is exactly what would happen if it released such a device any time soon.

Not to mention the fact that the company has finally released a handset with great battery life and upping the screen resolution could undo all that hard work.

Nevertheless, there are an increasing number of rumors surrounding it, so perhaps it does exist, and with the super-powered LG G3 now with us and Samsung rumored to be working on a Galaxy S5 Prime device of its own HTC might be feeling the pressure.

However, while there's enough information to suggest that this is or was a real thing, @evleaks is now reporting that it's been shelved or possibly turned in the M9 Prime, which is slated for release next year, suggesting a true successor to the One M8 rather than just an upgraded version of it.

Cut to the chase
What is it? An even more premium version of the One M8
When is it out? Probably between August - October. On the other hand it might have been cancelled.
What will it cost? Probably a lot.

HTC One M8 Prime release date and price

So rumors have mostly pointed to a release in the tail end of the year. The Times of India has reported hearing from a Weibo user that it will be unveiled in September.

More convincingly, 9to5Google has heard from "sources familiar with HTC's plan" that the M8 Prime will be launched before the iPhone 6, in either August or early September. Or rather, the HTC One M8 Plus will be, but we're assuming the Plus and the Prime are one and the same.

If it's intended as a successor to the HTC One Max then August, September or October would make sense as the One Max was released in October. That also gets it on the market close to Christmas and long enough after the HTC One M8 to hopefully not hamper that phones sales too much.

Unfortunately the most recent rumors, this time from the often reliable @evleaks, suggest that the HTC One M8 Prime might have been cancelled.

However the tipster goes on to say that there will be both an M9 and an M9 Prime next year, so even if this is true there's every chance that much of what we were expecting in the M8 Prime will arrive in one of these, it's just that we might have to wait until Q1 of 2015 to see it, as that's when the M9 Prime is touted for release. Strangely it's also reported that the M9 Prime will be arriving before the M9, which makes precisely no sense.

As for price, there's absolutely no word on that, but in all likelihood it's going to be even more expensive than the roughly £520, $685, AU$742 One M8, that is, if it ever even gets released.

HTC One M8 Prime display

@evleaks has told the world that the HTC One M8 Prime will have a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 (QHD) display, which would be up in both size and resolution from the 5-inch 1080p HTC One M8 display.

One M8

Sources speaking to 9to5Google agree with the resolution claims, though they don't shed any light on the size of the screen.

It would make sense for HTC to make a phone of that size and resolution, as it's a match for what LG has delivered in the G3, but we can't help but wonder what such a jump would do to the phone's battery life.