HTC has decided to not make more significant design changes to its new One M9 and because of that has been met with criticism from fans and critics, but it wasn’t just a lazy move to cut costs.
The Taiwanese company has explained that it wants all One-series smartphones to look familiar so that consumers know exactly that the device is an HTC. The company wants a smartphone as recognizable as the iPhone.
In an interview with The Verge, Claude Zellweger, HTC’s lead designed explained that:
The One is an icon that’s been established in the market, and we want to continue that. You don’t overhaul the fundamental expression of the phone if you don’t have to.
Both the original One M7 and last year’s One M8 won numerous awards for design, and rightly so; over the past two years, they’ve been some of the prettiest Android-powered smartphones money can buy.
So HTC didn’t want to change too much in the M9 design. Instead, the company had a plan to make subtle evolutions to its form factor, and to “keep refining the things that need to be refined.”
The major complains have been carried over from the original One M7 all the way to the One M9, such as the front-facing holes for its BoomSound speakers, and the large black bezel beneath the display that accommodates HTC’s logo.
The rumors promised us that black bar would be disappearing, and that the HTC One M9 would have more subtle speaker grilles integrated into its bezels. And while many of us know better than to believe the speculation, many more don’t, and now they’re disappointed.
HTC chose a bad year to stick with a samey smartphone design, those speaker holes (which were constantly becoming filled with pocket fluff).
With the One M9 not generating the same enthusiasm, HTC’s smartphone sales could take a hit in 2015– unless that rumored One M9 Plus materializes and makes a big impact.