Two years ago HTC was in a bit of a quagmire. After the success of the original Desire, its handsets had gone off the boil and consumers were rapidly forgetting about HTC – it needed to re-invigorate its brand.
It dropped it’s rather odd logo for a cleaner, smarter trio of letters and reordered its pack with the introduction of the "One" range.
While the One X, One S and One V didn’t set the world alight, HTC did at least have a brand name it could build upon, and that was brought to the fore with the launch of the excellent HTC One last year.
So all is well in the HTC camp again, right? Well, no. There’s now the small issue of what it’ll call the successor to its best smartphone to date – and when I say small, I mean huge.
That’s not my name
HTC is so heavily invested in the "HTC One" brand it simply cannot afford to reinvent itself again – this is a crucial time for the Taiwanese firm and if it gets the HTC M8 wrong it could be in serious trouble.
That rules out the "HTC Two" early on then.
Dubbed the "HTC One 2" in initial rumours, the likelihood of that being the final name is pretty low. It’s untidy, clunky and just doesn’t sing premium smartphone.
People will make jokes about checking sound quality while pretending to speak into a mic (hilarious, guys), but at least you’ll know what you’re getting and it’s probably the most logical option.
The numbers game has worked a charm for Samsung – one look at the sales of the Galaxy S2, S3 and S4 tells you all you need to know – but it has the advantage of only one digit in the name.
No one wants to say they have the One 3 or One 4 in a few years time – it just sounds stupid.
HTC could always take a leaf out of Apple’s book – we have the iPad, the iPod, the MacBook – no numbers, no versions. Just a new device with the same name.
Keeping the name for the One’s successor would mean people will be immediately drawn to it – but that gives us a problem with the current model.
When a new flagship phone goes on sale its predecessor doesn’t disappear, usually it gets a price drop. You can still pick up the Galaxy S3, and even the iPhone 4S – so how would stores differentiate between the old and the new HTC One?
TechRadar’s Phones and Tablets Editor Gareth Beavis reckons HTC might rename the 2013 model the "One Classic", but I can’t see that working out particularly well.
While it may make sense in the short term, come the third iteration of the HTC One what happens then – does the M8 then suddenly become the One Classic 2?
Give me a break.
Something we have seen HTC do is add a suffix in the shape of a symbol or additional letter to the end of a name to signal a new product.
We’ve had the One X+ and One SV – so what’s stopping us seeing the HTC One+ launched in the next few months?
I’m hoping HTC will blow us away again with the M8 – but the One+ moniker suggests an incremental upgrade on last year’s flagship, rather than an entirely new device.
HTC has backed itself into a corner and I can’t see an easy way out for it without losing a chunk of dignity.
I hope you know what you’re doing HTC, because I can’t think of a single name that fits a truly decent successor to the all-conquering One.
- My fingers are crossed for something special on March 25