HTC fans who have been anticipating the HTC One M9 will have a very long wait ahead of them. Wayne Tang, Product Marketing Manager, HTC South Asia, has said that the HTC One M9+ is the only flagship coming to Malaysia, and that this is all part of a larger strategic plan.
The Taiwanese manufacturer was silent on the number of markets that would be receiving the HTC One M9 when it was first announced at MWC2015. However, there was never any indication that it would be skipping any markets until this particular announcement. It appears that the One M9 is only intended for countries with LTE Cat 6; a list that does not include Malaysia.
Instead, the HTC One M9+ will be catering to countries that use other standards for LTE transmissions. We had heard rumours that HTC would be skipping the One M9 for some Asian countries, but it was assumed that this had more to do with some markets preferring larger screen sizes – not that the One M9+ is that much bigger than the One M9.
The HTC One M9+ has arguably better specifications in this case, and supports LTE Cat 4. It also replaces the misbehaving Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with a MediaTek processor; which would explain the differences in LTE band support. Tang had also said that the two flagship smartphones should not be compared; possibly due to the differences in markets and where these two phones will end up being sold.
At the moment, it looks like people will get one or the other depending on the LTE band used in their respective countries. There was no explanation given for why HTC did not build a phone capable of supporting multiple LTE bands.