htc desire 826 first look aa (33 of 43)

At CES 2015 HTC unveiled the Desire 826, a decent mid-range device but not anything as impressive or exciting as the LG G Flex 2, which was easily the biggest Android-related announcement of CES. Like so many other players in the mobile industry, HTC is holding back its biggest announcements until later in the year, likely at MWC 2015. That said, HTC did talk a bit about its future plans, plans that go beyond mobile.

While HTC didn’t get into too many specifics, they did reveal that the HTC Re was just the beginning of a bigger push into connected devices that further improve our modern lifestyles. The first hints at this future can be seen in the recent announcement that HTC and Under Armour are partnering up, and they have even been working together already in secret for about six months. It’s unclear exactly what kind of fitness products this partnership will see, but it’s the beginning of a big change in direction for HTC.

The RE was HTC's first attempt at thinking outside of the mobile box.

The RE was HTC’s first attempt at thinking outside of the mobile box.

it’s the beginning of a big change in direction for HTC.

Of course, everyone seems to be doing fitness and so we aren’t surprised to see HTC get involved there. In addition to pushing forward into the fitness space, they also plan to move into connected home and connected entertainment segments. To further this endeavor, HTC is putting together an 100-person global business unit for connected devices and has brought on quite a bit of new talent in the process. As you’d expect, HTC is giving us few specifics on what kind of devices or connected “stuff” they are aiming to create in 2015, but we do know that these products will likely integrated into existing and future HTC products like the Re, as well as Android smartphones.

Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long for more clarification, as HTC promises it will reveal at least some of what all this means sometime in the first quarter of this year. Bottom-line, HTC believes that the company needs to evolve beyond its current approach if they want to continue down the path to fiscal recovery. But what about smartphones? Don’t worry, HTC is very committed to whatever comes next (though they didn’t divulge anything, to no surprise) and the rumor mill suggests good things for the HTC Hima, aka One M9. While on the subject, we hope to put together a rumor roundup for the HTC One M9 sometime next week — so stay tuned for that.

Based on the little bit we know, what do you think of HTC’s plans to expand into more connected products? Is this the best path for continued recovery, or is HTC better off focusing on phones only?

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