HTC has announced plans to release smartphones using a dual camera arrangement next year, but the company “[will] need to figure out how to make this feature stand out.”
The above comment comes from HTC President Chialin Chang, who made the statement around the same time that the HTC U 11+ and HTC U 11 Life were first introduced.
HTC has released dual camera smartphones before: several years ago, it sold the HTC EVO 3D for a brief period, which was one of the first smartphones to ever use a dual camera arrangement designed to capture 3D images. The HTC One M8 also used a dual camera arrangement but here the secondary camera was solely designed as part of the camera’s perspective mechanism.
This is not the first time the company has deferred entering a particular market, or introducing a feature, because it is unable to find a means of differentiating its product. For example, a smartwatch running Android Wear had been rumored for a long time, but was eventually shelved because the company was unable to adequately differentiate the product from the many competing alternatives. Similarly, HTC may have been unwilling to give its HTC U 11 smartphone a dual camera arrangement because of considerable investment in both hardware and software that would be needed to achieve a similar effect using existing single lens technology.
For 2018, Chang explained that the company is planning five or six smartphones in total. One of which, will be an intensely competitive premium mid-range device aimed at the Chinese market. Currently, HTC is concentrating on the Chinese flagship market to open things up for the HTC U 11+.