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Featured: HTC Continues its Downward Tailspin with Q3 Earnings, Is a Comeback Inevitable?

October 27, 2012 - Written By Alexander Maxham

We’ve talked about this many times. The once top manufacturer, HTC, is losing ground quickly. They’ve had some pretty bad earnings lately, and it doesn’t seem to be turning around anytime soon. As BGR puts it “So bad it makes Nokia look like a growth company”, it’s sad but true. In Q3 of 2012, HTC’s handset volume dropped 43% while Nokia’s dropped 23%. Now anyone who has read my articles, listened to our podcast or chatted with my on Google+ knows that I love HTC. I’ve owned more of their phones than any other manufacturer. They make great, quality devices. But things like non-removable batteries, non-removable storage, and not allowing S-off is really hurting them.

In 2011, they released quite a few devices, but they were all pretty much the same as what they already had on the market. They released devices like the HTC Sensation (XE, XL, and 4G), Amaze 4G, and the Rezound, just to name a few. While they were great devices, they weren’t much of an upgrade which kept people from really buying another HTC product and instead bought a Samsung, or Motorola device.

Fast forward to Mobile World Congress 2012. Where HTC announced the One line. HTC reinvented themselves, Sense was paired down a lot, and less bulky. Which was a step in the right direction. HTC also told us we would get a unified naming convention for all their devices. No more of these different names for the same exact phone. But that lasted about 2 months. Until HTC and Sprint announced the HTC EVO 4G LTE at CTIA. That was to be the successor of the original HTC EVO 4G, and the names didn’t confuse anyone did they? During the summer, HTC launched the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE on Verizon, which was not much of an improvement over the Droid Incredible 2, except for the 4G LTE connectivity. So as you can see, the One naming is only for GSM carriers.

So why has HTC been having such bleak earnings for the past few quarters? Mostly because Samsung has become such a king in the Android world now that its difficult for everyone to keep up. If you walk into a carrier store, let’s use Sprint as an example, and you see the HTC EVO 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which one would you pick up? The EVO LTE and the S3 are the same price, with the S3 having better specs and also being in many commercials on TV. Most consumers who aren’t family with Android or HTC are going to pick the Galaxy S3 because they’ve seen it everywhere. Along with the expandable storage and removable battery.

 

Here’s some even sadder news on the HTC front. HTC’s smartphone volume went down 42% dropping to just 7 million handsets. Meaning that RIM actually surpassed HTC. Now that’s a shocker. Especially since it’s been how long since a new Blackberry was released? And how many times has Blackberry 10 been delayed? Only thing we can hope is that Google gives HTC another crack at a Nexus device. But so far we’ve seen no leaks or rumors about that happening, and Google is announcing the new Nexus on Monday.  We can also hope the HTC J Butterfly does well, and that the HTC DLX (Verizon) get’s announced and released very soon. These Phone/Tablet hybrid devices should do well if the carriers price them right. But we’ll see.

HTC does still make great devices, but they are a bit behind with updates. Not as bad as Motorola or LG though, since they did start rolling out Jelly Bean to the HTC One X this weekend. But we can’t afford to have Samsung taking all the Android business. Samsung and the others need competition so we can continue to get great devices.