HTC One M9-18

HTC’s One M9 was a bit of a disappointment. It felt more like a small update on last year’s One M8 than a major new release, which is a dangerous move as competitors such as LG and Samsung make larger leaps. Speaking to angry shareholders this week, HTC CEO Cher Wang promised some serious improvements for next year’s flagship phone and said a new device is coming later this year.

According to the Taipei Times, HTC’s next flagship phone (we’ll call it the One M10) will introduce “significant improvements in innovation and design.” That’s a pretty vague promise, but it suggests next year’s phone won’t just be another iterative update. We should get a fresh design and some original features instead.

Wang also teased a new “hero product” coming this October. She didn’t specify what kind of device will be launching, which means it may not be a new phone. It’s possible HTC is hinting at the Vive VR headset, which is set to launch before the end of 2015.

Finally, Wang noted that the company needs to increase its marketing efforts overall. The firm’s stock is at a 12-year low, Tapei Times explained, noting that Wang blamed it on competition, internal operational troubles and marketing. HTC, for example, spends 20 times less than Apple or Samsung on ads and promotions, and the firm’s recent commercials have all been pretty weird.

Let’s hope the new strategy of improved design paired with better marketing works in HTC’s favor.