HTC Unveils One Max Smartphone with 5.9-Inch Screen

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-10-14 Print this article Print

An optional HTC Power Flip Case will give the device longer battery life and more protection, according to officials.

The One Max will be available globally starting in mid-October, and it will be available in the United States from Sprint and Verizon Wireless in time for the holiday season.

HTC has made a number of moves over the past year in hopes of boosting its sales and its standing against Apple and Samsung. That has included hiring a new head of marketing, retiring its “Quietly Brilliant” tag line and bringing in actor Robert Downey Jr. for a series of commercials. In addition, HTC officials have said they will focus less on the United States market and more on those in Asia and Europe.

They hope pushing a phablet design also will help. Bob O'Donnell, IDC's program vice president of clients and displays, told eWEEK last month that the trend in tablets is toward smaller screens—seven and eight inches, rather than 10—while smartphone screens are getting larger, growing beyond five inches and creating phablets. O’Donnell said he sees a time in the future when—as the screen sizes for tablets and smartphones get closer—people start questioning whether they need both devices.

"If I've got a five-and-a-half-inch smartphone, why the hell would I buy a tablet?" he asked.

Analysts at IHS have said that they expect phablet sales to grow from 60.4 million this year to 146 million by 2016, while Barclays said sales of phablets will jump to 230 million in 2015.

IHS reported that 25.6 million phablets were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013 and 146 million by 2016. (Barclays projects sales of phablets to rise to 230 million in 2015.)

Other smartphone makers are beginning to offer phablets. For example, Samsung sells the Galaxy Mega, LG has the Optimus G Pro and Huawei Technologies has the Ascend Mate. Some analysts believe Apple will offer larger screens on their upcoming iPhone 6 devices. In addition, the latest update to Windows Phone will support larger screen sizes.



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