Since smartphones with built-in media players hit the mainstream a few years ago, we've asked ourselves, can a regular portable media player fit in? Apple has the iPod Touch and Samsung has its Galaxy Player. A new patent suggests HTC might be slaving away at its very own media player with some kickass speakers.
To even consider challenging Apple's dominance in the portable media player space, you need to have a product that isn't more of the same old formula.
Luckily for HTC, the iPod Touch's speaker blows. It's terrible.
One of HTC's strongest features is audio. Its smartphones and tablets are well-received because they're loud — sometimes too loud. It's not new news that HTC loves audio quality. Why else would it snap up Beats?
But unlike Apple and Samsung, HTC doesn't have its own app ecosystem. Au contraire, HTC could choose to go with Google Play (formerly called Android Market) or even with MOG (recently acquired by Beats).
The patent also shows a camera and additional ports for what could amount to be audio/video in/out.
Smartphones might continue to most people's "master" device, but there's still a huge segment of the population that only needs a powerful media player (children, seniors or luddites). That, and not everybody wants to pay for the the monthly plans that come with a smartphone.
The portable media player market is ripe for disruption again. Busy with the success of its iPhone and iPad, the iPod received a relatively modest update last year. HTC could come right in a scramble things. Now, that's a show I'd pay money to see.