Dear Internet, What Do You Think of the All New HTC One M8?

Source: YouTube

Gary Oldman stars in the HTC One M8 commercial. Close

Gary Oldman stars in the HTC One M8 commercial.

Source: YouTube

Gary Oldman stars in the HTC One M8 commercial.

That's the question HTC apparently wants you to ask.

Well, Gary Oldman wants you to ask it, and that's because HTC's paying him.

In a new marketing twist that goes from "Hold the Cat" to crowdsourced opinion-making, HTC hasn't even bothered to tell you much about the device it just unveiled in New York and London.

An antagonist might say that's because the "All New HTC One M8," as Oldman calls it, doesn't have many features that are new or pitch-worthy. But in fact it's a campaign that gets to the heart of HTC's ongoing frustration with the smartphone market, and by extension the consumers who've been flocking to rival phones.

Anytime Chairwoman Cher Wang faces the public, she's not missed a chance to tell anyone who'll listen just how darned good last year's HTC One really was, and how it's been voted as much by tech blogs and reviewers.

Yet, consumers weren't buying it, literally and figuratively. In the two quarters in which HTC One was rolled out last year, sales continued to decline from a year prior. Conclusion: HTC One wasn't selling so well.

There are myriad reasons behind this, including the fact that the very feature it trumpeted as being unique was also the albatross that weighed on its output.

Chang Chialin, who's gone from "CFO" to "CFO and Sales Chief," posits another reason: HTC One sold well, shipping more units than the year before, but the non-flagship devices let the team down last year, hence the sales slide. This year, that will change as it broadens its lineup to lower-priced devices for a wider array of consumers, Chang has said.

Then there's the Hero phone. HTC learned two lessons from last year's troubles: Awesome new hardware isn't always enough to sell phones, and awesome new hardware can cause you production problems if you're not careful.

The "All New HTC One M8" isn't all that different from last year's version. The design is similar while tweaked to fit a screen that's bigger, while the processor is newer, and they've introduced an even better camera. Yet a lot of the internals are based around the same platform as last year, a deliberate strategy to minimize problems and reduce costs.

At the same time, the software is a new generation of earlier offerings while it guarantees two years of Android updates and a new screen if you break it in the first six months.

So will these subtle changes to an already well-received but slow-selling product be enough to drive a turnaround?

Ask the Internet.

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