2013 was the perfect year for HTC to celebrate their achievements, but since then the story has not been that great. A company which was ranked as the 31st most innovative company (By: Fastcompany: Source) is currently facing a heavy loss, but what causes this? Let’s recapitulate HTC’s Growth, Boom, and Depression to figure out some remedies to recover from the current state that they are in.
HTC became familiar to all enthusiasts when Google decided to partner with them, to bring the first Nexus device to the market back in 2010. Since then, HTC has seen substantial growth whereas in 2011 HTC Sensation was one of the most competitive smartphones, which was able to put a hell of a fight with the Samsung Galaxy S II.
“In just a few years, our reactions to HTC phones went from “!” to “?!””
Back in 2013 the HTC One M7 was able to boost their sales dramatically (Source) which led to shipping over 5 Million devices within just 3 months of the initial release. The Boomsound stereo speakers were some of the first ever front facing speakers on any mobile device and they are still considered the best in the industry. Since then many other OEMs have followed HTC’s footsteps in implementing front facing speakers. what else exemplifies HTC’s boom it only lasted for a few months.
Since the M7 it hasn’t looked good for HTC. Even though they were able to produce High performance Good looking devices it just didn’t work out for them since the consumers were expecting something more than its predecessor flagships. The M8, M9, M9+ all suffered from horrible marketing concepts and strategies – including ads with Robert Downey Jr. which made no sense and weren’t related to the device at all which, proves HTC has a bad track record in marketing: Source)
The gimmicks that they included in the device which they thought would bring up their sales actually played a major role in bringing it down (Eg: The Dual Camera, Ultra Pixel Camera) And in many ways the Evo’s 3D camera was a way better gimmick than all of their current ones.
The big question is “WHY?” a capable company, a company which was able to give a whole new identity to Android Smartphones, was not able to prolong their great run. Now can they revive?
How can HTC change their future from a big “?!” to a dramatic and wonderful “!” once again?
In my opinion, these are the few factors I believe that HTC should concentrate to make better devices in the Future.
UI Experience / Firmware: HTC sense has grown substantially from their early ages. Even though the current version of Sense UI (7.0) does not overhaul the total Android experience it looks kind of “Boring”. They should try adding custom features in which sense has failed. And speaking of firmware, HTC carries a bad track record in pushing latest OTA to even their flagships comparing it to other OEMs such as Samsung, Motorola etc.
Design / Aesthetics: M7 was the first fully Aluminum Android Smartphone and since then we haven’t seen any new innovative ideas in the design aspect of their flagships (Even butterfly carries the same design). When the King of Plastic (Samsung) could change their total design why can’t a company which gave a new look to Android devices do so? It is quite understandable that HTC is struggling to find a new lead designer since Jonah Becker, the man behind M7 and M8’s design, dropped out after his 17 years of contribution
Marketing: HTC hardly even market their products appropriately and “marketing” does not end with advertisements, offers etc. It relates the entirety of the device itself and how HTC is able to make the best out of it in its commercials or billboards. As I mentioned before, the marketing gimmicks they implement aren’t quite up to the standards that the consumers expect out of such company.
HTC is a highly capable manufacturer, there is no doubt about that and what makes them think completely different from the consumers’ actual needs is still a mystery. So will HTC learn from their mistakes? Will they bring forth a new device with an all new look?