Last month, a purported leaked photo of the upcoming HTC Aero (or One A9, as certain reports have indicated) showed a phone that shared undeniable similarities with the iPhone 6. And now leaked renders have affirmed that point.
According to reliable leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks), this is the HTC Aero in its many colour options - but no matter how you dress it up, the phone looks like an Apple product at a glance. The general shape and proportions (including the approximately 7mm thickness), the plastic interference-cutting plastic strips along the back, and even a couple of the colour schemes scream iPhone 6.
Tuned-in gadget lovers can sort out the differences quite quickly, but for your average citizen? We'd guess many would be fooled, aside from the two HTC logos. And while initially pegged to be a flagship phone (when first info leaked earlier this year), it now sounds like a very good mid-range option, so HTC would surely undercut Apple on pricing for a near-identical-looking phone.
Blass says to expect a 5in 1080p AMOLED display, making it a little larger and sharper than the iPhone 6, along with a Snapdragon 617 chip, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and a 13-megapixel back camera with optical image stabilisation and 4MP front shooter. Furthermore, he says it has a 2,150mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, and microSD support.
It sounded like we were going to see an HTC phone at IFA this month, but it didn't pan out; Blass says it'll ship in November instead, making it a potentially popular holiday option. There's one interesting thing to consider here, however: as of December 2012, HTC had signed a 10-year deal with Apple and agreed to not copy its phones.
Assuming that deal is still intact, maybe HTC thinks the Android-powered Aero is different enough to stand apart. Or perhaps, given the dwindling state of its fortunes, the company is willing to take a risk - by mimicking a proven winner. Yes, the irony is strong here.