Will the HTC One M9+ be for Chinese markets only?

HTC is preparing to launch the rumoured One M9 Plus in Beijing, China on 8 April.

Reports say the One M9 Plus will feature a 5.2-inch quad HD display (2560 x 1440) with an octa-core MediaTek chipset and 3GB of RAM. From the promo photo, it looks like the camera will be circular, rather than square like that of the One M9.

No word on any changes to the exterior of the device. Considering HTC’s lack of real change on the One series over the past two years, it is unlikely that anything major will be changed.

The Beijing launch is a bit peculiar, considering HTC holds little ground in the region. This could spell a major change on how HTC markets its smartphones, following a recent management reshuffle removing Peter Chou for founder Cher Wang as CEO.

Having a popularity boost in China could mean a lot to sales, which have been falling ever since 2012. Samsung lost most of its lead in China over 2014, first to Xiaomi and then in Q4 to Apple, who managed to outsell everyone with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Even though the One M9 Plus looks to be the larger of the two devices, the difference in size will only be 0.5-inches. Compared to Apple’s iPhone 6 to 6 Plus or Samsung’s Galaxy S6 to Note 4 that both feature an 0.8-inch gap, it makes the One M9 Plus not a real “phablet”.

If HTC launches the One M9 Plus in China only, it might be to focus only on that market. In that case, the One M9 Plus is most likely tailored to be the exact size Chinese customers want it to be, rather than a size comparable to most phablets.