HTC’s European website briefly featured a device that hasn’t been announced yet, the Desire 310. What makes the phone special is that it’s powered by a MediaTek chip. Note that Qualcomm owns a small stake in HTC, and just about every HTC product released in the past few years has used Qualcomm silicon. Let’s pretend the Tegra powered One X never happened, OK? Anyway, back to the Desire 310, it has a 4.5 inch 854 x 480 pixel resolution screen, quad core 1.3 GHz chip, half a gigabyte of RAM, 5 megapixel camera, and a 2000 mAh battery.
Without a price, it’s impossible to judge this device, but I will say this: Here in Europe, you can buy a Moto G for roughly 200 Euros, and that’s the bargain of the century. You get a 4.5 inch 720p screen, quad core 1.2 GHz processor from Qualcomm, 1 GB of RAM, and a bone stock version of Android that’s been augmented with two or three Motorola applications that actually make using the device more enjoyable. That’s going to be the Desire 310’s competition, and I know which horse I’d bet on.
Taking a step back, why is HTC even competing in the low end? The answer is pretty obvious. The high-end smartphone market is almost impossible to penetrate. If you have $650 to spend a phone, there’s a high probability that you’re going to get an iPhone. If you don’t, then it’s either a Galaxy S4 or a Galaxy Note 3. HTC doesn’t have the brand power, nor the marketing budget, to fight the big boys, so they’re pretty much forced to sell these dinky little phones.