It's hard to be surprised at HTC's radio silence. After all, Google has bought most of the people responsible for making HTC phones — the entire division, in fact — and it's much more focused on Vive virtual reality headset now, it appears. But that doesn't mean HTC has abandoned its phone business altogether.
The company has now announced an official release schedule for the much-awaited Android 9 Pie updates for several of its flagships, marking the end to its silence on anything about phones. The company will update the HTC U11 first, around the end of May, followed by the HTC U12 Plus in June, then finally the HTC U11 Plus at the end of June.
As The Verge notes, other phones likely won't receive the update.
"We want to share the release schedule of the Android Pie updates for #HTC smartphones. Please note, certain regions & carrier deployment may affect these dates," HTC announced on Twitter. "U11 rollout will begin late May, 2019; U11+ will begin late June, 2019; U12+ will begin mid-June, 2019. Thank you."
HTC's Smartphone Reign
So much can happen in such a short time. There was a time when HTC was the king of Android smartphones, a time when its phones were some of the most sought-after handsets in the entire market. That time, however, has long gone. These days, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and to a lesser extent, LG, are all vying for the top spot, with HTC almost out of the entire picture.
HTC was also once among the first Android vendors with the latest version of Google's software, both when it came to updating existing flagships and offering it on latest releases out of the box. As previously mentioned, HTC is now firmly attuned to its VR business, and in fact that's where it's depending its entire business on.
This Android 9 update is probably more of a gesture for existing users than a hint that the company will remain committed to smartphones in the long run.
Android 10 Q
It's probably wise not to expect the newly Android 10 Q update to show up on HTC phones someday. Similarly, it's safe to assume HTC won't be announcing new phones anytime soon. Still, it could always make a comeback at some point. Just ask Nokia.
Thoughts on Android 9 Pie's late arrival on HTC phones? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!