In spite of all the reports of its impending doom, HTC is still making smartphones. In fact, the company is introducing four new budget Android phones to its Desire line.
The Desire 520, 526, 626, and 626s all run on a low-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, a 2,000 mAh battery pack, and HTC’s rendition of Android 5.1 running Sense 7. The Desire 520 features a 4.5-inch FWVGA display and the Desire 526 features a 4.7-inch qHD screen.
The Desire 520 also features 1GB of RAM and will be sold exclusively as a pre-paid phone at Cricket Wireless, while the Desire 526 will feature 1.5GB of RAM and will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless.
The Desire 626 and 626s each feature the same processor and battery pack as the Desire 520 and 526. The Desire 626 offers 1.5GB of RAM, while the Desire 626s offers only 1GB. They also each boast a 5-inch 720p display. Both phones will be available at a variety of carriers, including AT&T, Boost Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Sprint Prepaid, T-Mobile, Tracfone, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile USA. Each carrier will confirm the colors and models it’s carrying throughout the next few months. HTC did not offer any specific release dates, but said that each phone would be available under $200.
The story behind the story: I asked HTC if it was producing another generation of budget Desire phones because they were selling particularly well. The company's reply was that the “high-end [smartphone] space is plateauing”—which is true. There aren’t that many “new” high-end phone buyers to court.
But HTC also doesn’t have a lot of money to play around, and this kind of investment in mid-range and low-end phones seems like a bit of a distraction, especially since the graveyard of dead technology companies is littered with the corpses of those who tried to produce only “affordable” products for the middle of the bell curve.