An unreleased HTC Android handset has been spotted in the company's latest TV ad, sparking rumours that it's the Wildfire 2, due to be announced at next week's Mobile World Congress.
HTC's Wildfire 2 may not need grainy blogosphere spy-shots to reveal itself to the world: the manufacturer appears to have done the job itself, in a video posted on its own YouTube channel.
As Engadget points out, the glossy video shows a man holding a handset that doesn't correspond to any existing smart phones in HTC's range, but which bears a distinct resemblance to the original HTC Wildfire, minus its optical trackpad. See for yourself; it's about 5 seconds in:
Before you ask, no, we don't think the landmark announcement of HTC's Mobile World Congress press conference next week will be a technology to turn stones into phones and back again. We're fairly certain on that one.
The mystery phone is certainly small, assuming the actor in the ad isn't a close relative of Andre the Giant. It's running the Android OS too, but beyond that we can't make out much about its specs.
Dumping the optical trackpad would not be a surprise, after HTC's Desire HD did just that. The suspected Wildfire 2 differs in that respect from another recently leaked HTC handset, which looked like the Wildfire, but with a physical trackball underneath the screen.
Our main bugbear with the original Wildfire was its low-resolution screen, so that would be our first request from any sequel. We'd hope features from the Desire HD also start to drip down to the company's more affordable smart phones, including the fast and responsive screen. We're also keen to see what version of Android the Wildfire 2 will be running.
Assuming the device is unveiled at HTC's MWC event, it may get a lower profile than some of the company's other new devices. HTC may show off its dual-core HTC Pyramid, a couple of Facebook phones, and possibly even the HTC Scribe tablet. HTC's investment this week in cloud-gaming startup OnLive could also see some announcements at MWC about plans for a gaming service running across some or all of these Android devices.