The HTC U12 Plus will be HTC's only flagship smartphone of 2018

HTC’s future smartphone strategy has been rather up in the air ever since Google bought part of the phone division at HTC, including the team that worked on the Pixel phones. Now we’ve got some kind of clarity, for this year at least: the upcoming HTC U12 Plus will be the firm’s only flagship of 2018.

That’s according to “a trusted source” speaking to HTC Source. Apparently HTC wants to streamline its phone operations going forward, and has ditched the idea of revealing a second flagship around October or November (like the HTC U11 Plus).

So this year HTC is coming straight out of the gate with the full-fat, high-spec Plus model, rather than saving it for later in the year. It should make choosing a phone easier for consumers at least, with fewer handsets to pick from and no minor upgrades coming down the line to worry about.

Shifting strategy

We’re anticipating that the HTC 12 Plus is going to break cover during May, and those in the know say it’s going to be released across the world at the same time. There’s also word that the company is going to use some of the billion or so dollars it picked up from Google to make sure the 2018 flagship is aggressively marketed.

Plenty of other phone makers, including Samsung, LG and OnePlus, release two or three flagship phones every year, usually with small spec and feature upgrades to tempt in new buyers. It sounds like that’s not a game HTC wants to play any more.

All this chimes in with previous reports predicting that HTC would scale down its phone operations, perhaps to focus more on its virtual reality hardware and other interests. We’ve already seen a couple of mid-rangers from HTC this year in the form of the HTC Desire 12 and 12 Plus, so with the HTC U12 Plus that could be that for HTC mobiles in 2018.

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