According to the Omio mobile phone roadmap, HTC has a device codenamed "Ace" coming up on the horizon, and ever since it was leaked to the press, speculation has been rife on its form factor, functionality and, especially, its DNA.
However, while we can't conclusively prove what the handset is or does, we have unearthed clues from two separate sources that suggest the device could be the UK equivalent of the HTC Incredible, and not the Evo as some believe...
Pocket-lint has received a tip-off from someone purporting to be an employee of a large retailer that sells phones. He states that he sits next to the head buyer for mobile, who has told our source that they had a meeting with HTC where the Ace was brought up.
"As part of the HTC pitch, they had been shown some mock ups of upcoming phones, and one of them was codenamed 'Ace'", he tells us. "The buyer said it was coming out (to our company at least) in October and had a 4.3in screen, ran Android and looked quite a lot like a HD2. Sounded quite like the Evo to me, but this is for the UK".
Sounds intriguing, and certainly complies with the information gleaned from the leaked roadmap. And yes, it is for the UK so it couldn't be the 4G Evo. So, moving on...
During our meeting with Eric Lin, HTC's global PR and online community manager, at Uplinq, USA, he mentioned a few interesting facts, especially when asked if the HTC Evo was coming to the UK: "Currently there’s only been interest in this big screen thing here [in the US] from an American carrier", he exclusively revealed.
"But I definitely think that because of all of the interest that people have had in the Evo, and how well it’s been selling, that you’ll definitely see European carriers be like 'uh-oh, maybe we should get something like that'. But I don’t have anything [to announce] quite yet".
Notice the "like that" part. Mmmm... What else is like that? What else is in HTC's arsenal that is like the Evo, but not the Evo, and runs on an UK-friendly 3G network rather than 4G? And what else has similar multimedia and entertainment features, a large screen and runs Android?
Lin was certainly keen to highlight the abilities of another handset during our conversation, as a technically suitable substitute for the Evo: "The Incredible doesn’t have HDMI out, but it does have composite out. In terms of multimedia capabilities, it’s all fairly similar. It has the same chipset and everything".
So, putting two and two together and, hopefully, coming up with four, we believe that the Ace will be the UK equivalent of the Incredible.
We may be wrong, of course, but the evidence is certainly pointing in that direction. And, all going well, we'll find out in October, it seems.