The HTC One HDR microphone, which caused quite a stir a while back, has been quietly removed from the spec list on HTC’s website, as noted by a forum member at XDA Developers. A quick check will indeed show that “HDR microphone” is no longer there, and if you have been observing smartphone technology closely, your initial reaction would probably be “why?”
The answer is probably more mundane than exciting. Problems with component supply arose, particularly when a Dutch court issued a preliminary injunction against it being used in other devices than Nokia’s. HTC has clarified the situation since, saying that the problem is not its own, but rather STM, the company manufacturing and supplying the HDR microphone component.
HTC has clarified that the courts did not issue an injunction on the HTC One itself, but it is only STM that is prohibited by the Dutch court ruling in selling certain types of microphones to companies other than Nokia. Most importantly, HTC’s statement also mentioned that:
The judgment against STM states that HTC can continue to use microphones already purchased from STM in its products, because they were purchased in good-faith. Nokia's attempt to obtain a recall of microphones already sold to HTC failed. HTC will transition to improved microphone designs once its inventory of STM microphones is exhausted.
Why remove the component from the specs, then?
Since there is nothing stopping HTC from using the microphones it still has left in stock, why would the company remove mentions of the component from its website, then? The first answer that comes to mind is that HTC might be thinking it’s better to be safe than sorry. As such, it is keeping quiet and using the rest of the stock it has left, without causing more fuss.
A second answer would be that HTC has found another source for a similar component, or has developed an “improved microphone design,” to use the wording in the company’s statement. HTC may have simply stopped using the problem-causing microphone. That would mean that remaining microphones in stock may be simply repurposed for servicing HTC One smartphones already sold. Either way, this is just another sign that the original microphone will not remain a part of the HTC One for too long.
Should a microphone specs be too big an issue when marketing a mobile device? Are you particular about how you sound while on the phone? Leave us a comment below.