Android and Me

HTC ready for a wild ride on the Tegra roller coaster

2 years ago 23

Rumors of a Tegra-powered phone from HTC go all the way back to 2009. Anonymous sources say that HTC was in the final stages of preparing a smartphone with NVIDIA’s Tegra processor, but Qualcomm somehow swooped in and killed the project. Three years later, it appears that we will finally see a HTC device powered by Tegra.

How does Qualcomm possess so much influence over HTC? Qualcomm made a minority equity investment in HTC back in 2001 and they have always given them preferential treatment by allowing them early access to their latest Snapdragon processors. The partnership worked out pretty well as HTC became a major player in the Android ecosystem and rose to the number one smartphone vendor in the US.

Then something happened.

We don’t know exactly what changed in the relationship between the two companies, but HTC started hinting last year that they would source processors from NVIDIA. Several months later we got our first glimpse of the Tegra 3-powered HTC Edge (aka Endeavor and Supreme), and now we expect the device to be unveiled as their flagship product for 2012.

Today, Digitimes corroborated the rumors that HTC will indeed partner with NVIDIA.

We expect to see more HTC phones with Qualcomm processors (like the Ville), but this is a significant win for NVIDIA since HTC has said they will scale back and release fewer models in 2012 as they focus on hero products.

The HTC Edge is one of those hero devices, and we expect it to be available in all markets that HTC currently does business. It will be the most high-profile Tegra 3 smartphone yet and likely the best selling phone that NVIDIA has ever been a part of.

Mobile World Congress 2012 will definitely go down as the quad-core phone show and I believe HTC has the potential to produce the best device, at the biggest mobile event.

HTC’s press event takes place February 26th at 8:30 PM Barcelona time (2:30 PM EST), so we will find out in a matter of weeks if they can live up to the hype.