The Raw Truth about HTC and the HTC One
I wanted to put this out there because this is what I believe is eventually going to happen to HTC and their flagship[ device that many are saying is the deciding factor of HTC's fate. I want to say that this opinion here is in no way shape or form the representation of The Android Channel as a whole. This is my personal opinion and theory about what the future may hold as well as the current state of HTC and the smartphone world in general. I am no "expert" nor will I claim to be, that would be unfair to those who are. I am an average guy who loves Android, plain and simple. So without further ado, let me get into my.... theory.
HTC Was Aiming for the Fences... and Surpassed Them.
There is no question about it, HTC has come out with an incredible device that almost every online review has praised in one way or another. Even sites that have a biases history can't deny that the phone is a top quality piece of engineering that deserves its credit. However, is that enough to save HTC from their financial woes? Sadly I do not believe it is that simple as have one savior phone. While HTC may see increase profits for the short time ahead, they need to be aware of the market. Samsung and Apple and pumping phones out every 10-12 months, even less if you include the fact that Samsung is pushing the Galaxy and Note series on different cycles. I use to be a huge Samsung fan boy, I had the Fascinate, Galaxy Nexus, GS3 and the Note 2. You can say that Samsung pretty much dominated my Android experience with a few deviations from that pattern here and there. There is no denying that Samsung knows how to sell phones to the masses, they sell more phones than any other manufacturer worldwide. However, that doesn't mean that they are the best manufacturer. This is where HTC comes in.
HTC has always been the underdog, Android's lesser known manufacturer. However, they have always produced quality top tier phones (except for the T-Bolt which an HTC exec recently apologized for) that had the looks that could rival almost any other device out there. Take the Droid Incredible, I am talking the original one. That was probably one of the best phones I have used up until I had the joy of a Galaxy Nexus. Yes, Sense had its flaws back then but what Android OS didn't back then? Even stock Android had slight problems here and there. So even though HTC has been coming out with quality phones why are they in such dire financial troubles? Advertising and faith in their devices. Turn on your TV and I will bet you that you will see more Samsung and Apple commercials than and HTC commercial. Hell I will take it a step further, you will probably see more Samsung or Apple commercials in one day than you will and HTC in a week. Hell even LG has been advertising the Optimus G more and more.
So whats my point here? Not many people know about HTC. I went around my office, an accounting firm in the NY area, asking people to name a cell phone manufacturer besides Samsung or Apple. Less than 10% of the people I asked could name one and even less than that named HTC. Most of the phones I heard were either Motorola or LG.
So Whats the Point?
What does HTC have besides phones? Nothing that the average person would know about. Samsung has TVs, tablets and home appliances. Apple has computers, iPad and iPods. LG has TVs and home appliances like Samsung. Finally most people know about Motorola just because they have been around since the birth of the cell phone. I am not saying that HTC needs to start producing TVs or Microwaves in order to sell more phones, that isn't the point I am getting across. What I am trying to say is that HTC needs to focus all of their resources on their phones and making sure the word gets out. The HTC One has some publicity but not enough to rival its main competition, the Galaxy S4.
If you have read any form of tech news in the past year, you would know that HTC has some financial problems. Luckily, their unaudited results for the month after the One has been released showed some promise, but I feel this is going to be short lived. Why? Well lets start with the fact that Verizon does not carry the device. Now I don't know who to blame for that but that is a major blow to HTC. Verizon is the largest customer base for top tier smart phones because they have the most expansive LTE network and not having this device is a major blow to potential sales that HTC could have won considering the device was out a month before the GS4.
In order to keep HTC alive, they are going to have to hit home run after home run with their next phones. They can't afford to have another Thunderbolt, period. If they do they might as well pack it in call it a day and prepare for chapter 11. Yes, its a little extreme but its the way business works now a days especially in an industry so volatile such as this. HTC needs to learn from that past and keep progress moving forward... continue to make gorgeous phones, continue to strip down Sense and continue to use top of the line part while ramping up advertising.
So What Can We Do?
Well there is only one thing that can be done right now if you want to see HTC survive, buy an HTC One. No, I don't mean right now. If you have an upgrade or an extra $600-700 to burn then go look at one and seriously consider it. Don't skip over it at your carrier store or your purchasing location of choice just because you never heard the name or never owned anything but a Samsung or iPhone. The One is truly masterfully crafted and is probably one of the best devices I have ever worked with. Will I keep it for my 2 years? Maybe, maybe not. It will all depend on what Google comes out with next on their Nexus line. However, not everyone is like me and likes to unlock/root/mod their devices (Nexus bread and butter) so they don't need to consider the Nexus line of devices over anything else. If you are the average guy/gal looking for a new top tier cell phone, you can't pass up the HTC One.
So in the end, there really is nothing that we can do except vote with your wallets. Nothing else will sway companies and nothing else will keep them alive. I have seen many posts online saying that someone is going to get an HTC One but I wouldn't be shocked to find that half of them, or even more, end up getting something different. Whether it be the GS4, Note 2/3 whenever the new model comes out or an iPhone. Saying you want HTC to survive isn't enough, go out and support a company that deserves it.
They gave us The One.