HTC W8: A "high specs, mid-price" Windows Phone, coming Q3

HTC hasn't been sharing much love with Windows Phone in recent months. In fact, it hasn't actually launched a new device running Microsoft's mobile OS since WP8 launched back in late 2012 (well, apart from the very slightly refreshed 8XT for Sprint). 

Back in March, a rumour surfaced suggesting that HTC was planning to launch a Windows Phone version of its newest Android flagship, the One M8. Then last month, perennial leaker @evleaks revealed the name of HTC's next Windows Phone - the W8 - along with the news that it was destined for Verizon in the US. 


This is just a mock-up rather than the real deal - but the real W8 could launch as soon as next month

Today, @evleaks has added to this info with a couple of extra details. First, he reveals that the device will be launching in Q3 of this year, meaning that it could arrive as early as next month (or perhaps as late as September), and reiterates that it will be available on Verizon. It is not yet clear if the device will be a Verizon exclusive, or if HTC plans to launch it on other US carriers, or in other markets. 

He also reveals that the W8 will be based on a new Android handset known currently as the A9. According to a report on Focus Taiwan from early May, the A9 is being lined up as a device with "high specifications", but with a mid-range price tag. Not much more is known about that handset, but it is expected to launch in a matter of weeks, with an announcement expected in late Q2 or early Q3. 

High specs but without the high price sounds like a pretty tasty combination, but we'll of course have to wait and see just what HTC has in store. According to @evleaks, the company will bring its BoomSound audio enhancement feature to the new Windows Phone, along with the Duo camera that also features in the HTC One M8. 

Source: @evleaks 

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This better come to AT&T or I'm going to Verizon since my 2yr is already expired. I hope we start seeing some newly branded Nokia phones too so I have some choices around the same time.

HTC is the only windows phone maker I'd consider after Nokia/MS Mobile. I still think the 8X is one of the best designed plastic phones, ever.

Now that Microsoft has bought Nokia... Will the Nokia exclusive apps that are published under "Microsoft Mobile Oy" be made available to all OEMs ? In that case I would prefer a HTC phone over a Nokia !
The 8x was a beautiful phone, but getting it over the 920 just didn't make sense!

Pluribus said,

Yeah, especially a Windows Phone.

Carrier exclusives suck but they might actually be doing good for Verizon because they keep ordering more as time goes on.

elenarie said,
Good job on making it carrier-exclusive. For sure it will sell well.

Indeed. It's the guaranteed way to make sales disappear.

Never thought about it before, but implementing the "phone buttons" into the OS is a really smart idea. As this makes it a lot easier for OEMS to make phone supporting both android and WP..

Yeah that was actually changed with WP8.1, before, the requirements were to have the three buttons we see on WP8 devices right now.

Mugwump00 said,
Has the camera-button requirement been relaxed? Shame if it has.

It has as well, the Lumia 63x line doesn't have one for example though the high end 930 does.

@lord method man: How does that effect you? Its to make OEM's able to make lower end / cheaper phones for developing countries, or for people wanting super cheap product.

You do not have to buy those models, and its very unlikely you will ever see a mid range or upper range model without one.

Lets face it, HTC is never going to release a flagship Windows Phone device, year after year they have and will continue to chuck windows phone on a slightly modified android device that has already been out for a few months.

Gaffney said,
Lets face it, HTC is never going to release a flagship Windows Phone device, year after year they have and will continue to chuck windows phone on a slightly modified android device that has already been out for a few months.

So what chassis were the 8x and 8s based off of?

Gaffney said,
Lets face it, HTC is never going to release a flagship Windows Phone device, year after year they have and will continue to chuck windows phone on a slightly modified android device that has already been out for a few months.

Well they aren't going to invest a lot of money in something that might not sell. They still need to make a profit and they have bee, losing money for a while.

As opposed to Samsung, Huawei or [insert popular* phone manufacturer here] which do that on a regular basis.

*popular in at least one part of the world, not necessarily global.

Well, Windows Phone didn't have support for anything more than dual core until GDR2 if I remember right, and it was clocked at 1.5ghz which I think is faster than any other announced phone (1020 possible exception?)

Plus it was beautiful. Weirdly though I thought the 8S looked better, loved the coloured band, I wanted the 8X hardware in the 8S body (the above mock up excites me.) Ended up buying a 620 cheap which I'm still using, waiting to see the new flagship devices this year though ;)

anothercookie said,

Well they aren't going to invest a lot of money in something that might not sell. They still need to make a profit and they have bee, losing money for a while.

Yep, as popular (read market share) as Android is, HTC is not putting up the numbers it should for the HTC One (M7 + M8). Why dedicate time and resources for a brand new chassis for a platform that isn't nearly as popular? Besides, if this rumored phone is based on the One M8, it could be imo the best WP in terms of build quality (not knocking Nokia here).

tsupersonic said,
Yep, as popular (read market share) as Android is, HTC is not putting up the numbers it should for the HTC One (M7 + M8). Why dedicate time and resources for a brand new chassis for a platform that isn't nearly as popular? Besides, if this rumored phone is based on the One M8, it could be imo the best WP in terms of build quality (not knocking Nokia here).

The thing is, with the changes MS has made starting now with WP8.1, HTC doesn't have to spend money to something new, just take the current flagship hardware they made for Android and slap WP8.1 on it, it'll run without issue, or very little work.

The point he was making is not so much that they use the same phone hardware for WP instead of coming up with something totally new for it but that when they do reuse it it's 4-6, or more, month old Android hardware.

If this is cut down to 1 month or heck if the time comes when HTC, or someone else, releases the Android and WP version of basically the same handset at the same time then that'd be big.

George P said,

The thing is, with the changes MS has made starting now with WP8.1, HTC doesn't have to spend money to something new, just take the current flagship hardware they made for Android and slap WP8.1 on it, it'll run without issue, or very little work.

The point he was making is not so much that they use the same phone hardware for WP instead of coming up with something totally new for it but that when they do reuse it it's 4-6, or more, month old Android hardware.

If this is cut down to 1 month or heck if the time comes when HTC, or someone else, releases the Android and WP version of basically the same handset at the same time then that'd be big.

Again, Android is where they are focused because they will make more money there than on WP. I honestly can't blame HTC for their current WP release strategy, given WP's current state. If WP carried more market share, I'm sure they would have a different strategy. Your concerns are valid if they released a WP based on the One M7 rather than the One M8. Besides, the One M8 carries high end specs, and it will still be a great phone later in the year. If you don't like it, or don't want to wait, there are other great WP devices on the market now.