Can HTC Grab Some of Samsung’s Market Share in 2013?

HTC-ONE-M7-Noir-Blanc

It’s 2013, and HTC’s market share is tanking. Well who didn’t see that coming? Especially after 2011 where they just rereleased all their phones with slightly upgraded specs. In 2012, they tried to turn it around a bit with the HTC One series. Which was supposed to be the branding for all their devices. Similar to Verizon’s Droid, Sprint’s EVO, and Samsung’s Galaxy brands. But that didn’t really work out. Now in 2013, HTC is trying the “One” brand again. This time taking out the “X”, “S”, “V”, and the other letters they used last year.

On February 19th, HTC held simultaneous events in London and New York City to announce the HTC One. Now the HTC One still isn’t available but they did announce that it will launch on about 185 different carriers worldwide. Now that’s a big difference from what happened with the HTC One X last year. The One X was available on only AT&T in the US. But the HTC One will be on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Hopefully all of them will keep the name of the HTC One.

Samsung Answers HTC

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During Mobile World Congress, which was about a week after HTC’s big announcement, Samsung announced they have an event coming on March 14th in New York City. Now we basically already know it’ll be the Galaxy S4, since the invite says “Be ready 4 the next Galaxy” that kinda confirms it is indeed the Galaxy S4. The kicker here is that the HTC One is supposedly launching on March 15th, in certain markets and carriers.

Since the Galaxy S4 announcement was confirmed, we’ve seen all kinds of leaks for the new handset. Including having two different prototypes, Samsung using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU instead of their Exynos 5 Octa one, and plenty more. So there’s definitely some hype for the Galaxy S4, plenty more than there was for the HTC One.

HTC Counters Samsung

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So just because Samsung is announcing their flagship device the day before the HTC One goes on sale, that’s not going to stop HTC. We noticed on both Google+ and Twitter that HTC put up an interesting post on February 28th, which is shown in the image above. Now they didn’t actually say anything about Samsung or the Galaxy S4. But “Say no to plastic” that is definitely a jab at Samsung and their plastic devices. So far it looks like HTC is doing better with their marketing for the HTC One, but you have to remember Samsung has a huge marketing budget. After all they bought a Superbowl commercial and didn’t show off any new devices or even market the Galaxy S3 or Note 2 in the commercials. So they have plenty of marketing money to throw around.

Marketing

We already stated that Samsung has a huge marketing budget, especially when compared to HTC. But does that mean that Samsung will do a better job at marketing? Well probably. We already see the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 everywhere. I doubt that will change with the Galaxy S4 when it’s released in about a month or so. Samsung has been getting attacked lately, not just from HTC’s marketing, but Motorola’s as well. So it’ll be interesting to see how Samsung markets the Galaxy S4 in the next few months.

HTC on the other hand needs to do a much better job than they did in 2012. We need to see commercials for the HTC One everywhere. Like they did with the original EVO for Sprint. You literally couldn’t go anywhere without seeing an ad for the EVO.

Winner?

Well it’s still to early to figure that one out. It’s all going to come down to pricing for on-contract and off-contract. If both the HTC One and Galaxy S4 are $600 off contract, it’ll come down to which one everyone likes better. Which might be the HTC One. It’s made of aluminum and just looks pretty. But we haven’t seen the Galaxy S4, so we can’t say for sure which one looks nicer. We do know that it’ll be made out of plastic though.

Samsung will more than likely put their device on all four major carriers along with a couple of regionals like Metro PCS, Cricket, and US Cellular, like they did with the Galaxy S3 in 2013. Which is definitely going to make it hard for HTC to compete. But if they can push out an update to Android 4.2 rather quickly, I think they can grab some of Samsung’s market share. Also if HTC decides to play nicely with developers, in the way that Samsung does, they’ll also grab more customers and push more HTC One’s out the door.

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