A programmer digging around in a leaked ROM has turned up evidence of the HTC Leo — a clamshell design with a high-resolution screen and hardware keyboard.
Many are taking this as a sign that this company may finally be planning a followup to the HTC Universal — a device that was years ahead of its time.
Like the older model, the HTC Leo will supposedly offer a very impressive feature set in a clamshell design. This starts off with dual displays — an external QVGA one, and an internal WVGA Touchscreen (16:9 aspect ratio).
This model will allegedly have support for Open GL 2.0, indicating that it will have a high-end processor, possibly even the 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. This isn’t impossible, as this company’s other ultra-high-end model, the HTC Thoth — is also expected to run on the Snapdragon processor.
Smartphone or MID?
Exactly what product classification the Leo will fall in is a matter of opinion.
Judging from similar devices HTC has put out in the past, this model will have all the features of a smartphone, but in a package too large to make a convenient phone.
To many, this will push it up into the MID (mobile Internet device) category.
A Warning from the HTC Omni
The Leo isn’t exactly the first follow-up to the Universal. Back in 2007, there were persistent leaks about the HTC Omni, another clamshell MID running Windows Mobile — but the Omni was never released.
Instead, this company decided to drop the clamshell design and put out the Athena series, which use a tablet shape with a clip-on keyboard. The upcoming Thoth will supposedly be part of this product line.
HTC may be planning to return to the clamshell shape with the Leo, but it would be a change in a strategy that this company has followed for several years.