HTC is launching its first 5G phone sometime this year

HTC U12 Plus
Could a successor to the HTC U12 Plus (above) be on the way? (Image credit: TechRadar)

HTC used to be a huge name in smartphones, but in recent years it's struggled, and has almost completely abandoned the market save for launching the occasional niche device like the HTC Exodus 1 and 1S. But a more mainstream smartphone from the brand might be coming soon, and it’s set to include 5G.

HTC’s CEO Yves Maitre said in an interview (reported by Chinese news site UDN) that the company will launch its first 5G smartphone at some point in 2020.

That’s all he said on the subject, but given that 5G is still mostly only found in flagships, it’s likely that this will be a high-end device.

That doesn’t necessarily make it mainstream of course. It’s possible that 5G will be packed into another blockchain phone like the Exodus 1, but it would seem odd to debut such a premium feature on such a niche handset, so there’s a good chance this will be a more conventional smartphone.

High or low?

In other words, this could be the HTC U13, or whatever HTC’s successor to the HTC U12 Plus ends up being called. On the other hand, HTC might choose to launch a more affordable 5G handset to avoid directly competing with big names, as analysts speaking to Forbes late last year predicted. That too could be exciting though, as it would make 5G more accessible.

And whatever this 5G phone ends up being, it shows that HTC isn’t quite done with smartphones yet – although whether this will be the company's swansong phones-wise, or a serious bid to relaunch it as a major player, remains to be seen.

It may well depend on how well this upcoming phone sells, and in the face of the Samsung Galaxy S20 and – later this year – the iPhone 12, the competition is certainly going to be tough, especially if HTC's 5G phone does end up being high-end.

Via Engadget

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.