Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The end of the road for HTC?

Here's my first post of 2014 (I know, I've been lazy - sidetracked with moving house). Hopefully you all enjoyed a good Christmas and New Year break.

Shame to start 2014 on a negative note, but HTC announced their Q4 2013 finances a short while ago and it makes for pretty grim reading.

Now, HTC underperforming is no new thing after the last couple of years - and their still in profit - but real worry for HTC is their market share. A few years back, HTC were producing 1 in 10 phones sold. Now HTC hold just a 2.2% share of the market, and this will only be squeezed further by the likes of Huawei. Even more worrying for HTC, is that they've done the hard work and still failed. The HTC One is widely regarded as phone of 2013 (Im typing on one now and it's by far the best phone I've ever used), and in some quarters it's regarded as the best phone of all time yet that isn't enough. The marketing department is falling short, and HTC are floundering.

I like HTC. I've made no secret of that. I've had many HTC phones and they've served me particularly well. My concern is, I don't see how it can get any better. The chances of HTC producing something significantly better than the One, are minimal, and that can only serve to damage their market share further. The HTC One 2 (I really hope that isn't their marketing name...) has been leaked, but there won't be a radical change, just small updates. Frankly, that's not good enough.

I wrote before about the perils of attempted market saturation in relation the HTC's case. The turning point in their development as a company, was the period of mass-producing low cost technology. This damaged their long-term image for short-term false gain. When people look back on the rapid rise and fall of HTC, this will be seen as the turning point. BlackBerry have had their day, and now sadly, so have HTC.


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