There’s no doubting the HTC One’s credentials. The design, UX and specs are all superb.
It’s in the afterglow of an event like this that you can see why HTC, for a brief year, was Android top dog, slaying all before it until Samsung rocked up with a slew of Galaxy devices and a marketing budget the size of the structural deficit.
It’s pretty clear now that the device is not the issue.
HTC seems to have dealt with some serious quibbles about past efforts, especially the HTC Sensation, and has developed a phone that looks sturdy and what it takes to go up alongside well built devices like the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5.
No, the real problem is marketing. HTC just doesn’t have the money to match its rivals. And it can only get that money by selling millions of units.
Trouble is, it needs marketing money to do so. And so the vicious cycle continues.
Perhaps the only way the HTC One can force its way to the top is through critical success.
A string of good reviews and positive testimonies from users can do wonders for a device.
Original HTC Android phones were helped a long way to their success in this regard. In terms of the wider smartphone world, it’s vital that the HTC One goes some way to matching that success.
Despite MWC kicking off next week and a slew of promotion and news about new phones from everyone from Motorola to ZTE, the race for the top is now realistically between two players: Apple and Samsung.
In a way, that’s understandable. They make excellent phones and have the budget to back themselves.
But it leaves a worrying gap behind them, where HTC, LG, Nokia and Sony all scrabble around for an increasingly small share of the market.
It also raises concerns about innovation. Surely it’s healthier for more manufacturers to be pushing each other than two giants slugging it out (largely in courtrooms it has to be said).
Google is of course a major factor when it comes to innovation, its Android OS helping to create a more level playing field.
But wouldn’t it be far more interesting, and better for the industry, if the HTC One (and other rival phones) sold well?
It would certainly give Samsung and Apple something to think about.
The latter has felt as if it needs a good kick in the backside for ages and sales of non-Samsung phones could do just that.
Whatever happens, the HTC One will be seen as the Taiwanese tech titan’s finest mobile to date.
Let’s hope that praise, mirrored across the web, is enough to convince punters to pay up for it in their millions.
Otherwise the whole smartphone space could begin to feel a touch stagnant.