AH Primetime: Could the Future of Android include no HTC?
Today, we’ve heard plenty of bad news regarding HTC lately. This morning we reported that HTC has been losing top executives like crazy lately, which is always a bad sign of things to come for a company. HTC has been having a rough few years. It really started in 2011 when HTC basically just relaunched all their flagship devices with a small refresh. I guess they figured it worked for Apple, so it would work for them. Except it didn’t. Then in 2012, HTC announced their One series. Including the One X, One S, One V, and a few others that came out later that year. Then their Sprint and Verizon exclusive devices like the EVO 4G LTE, and the Droid Incredible 4G LTE. Things began to turn around a bit in late 2012 with the HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly. But the bad thing about that was it was a Verizon exclusive. Bad idea HTC.
That brings us to 2013. HTC announced the One in February. Attempting to beat Samsung to the punch of the Galaxy S4, HTC then began to struggle with components and the device was delayed until April here in the US, but launched elsewhere in March. The HTC One is a great device, but is it great enough? HTC has said it’s their only flagship for 2013. Then a couple months later comes the HTC First. Well the First wasn’t really a flagship per-say but it was a great device. The One is supposed to be the one to save the company and if it doesn’t the CEO, Peter Chou vowed he would step down.
As a fan of Android, I had really hoped that the HTC One would do well. Not because I don’t like Samsung’s build quality, but because we need competition. We don’t want Android to turn into just a Samsung field like iOS is. That defeats the whole open source thing, and it would slow down innovation in hardware. Which is definitely something we don’t want. So are we looking at a future without HTC? I certainly hope not. But it could become a reality very soon. HTC has been a very popular smartphone brand since before Android. Back in the Windows phone days, HTC was a very popular brand and even in the early Android days. But 2011 really did them in. Between HTC just barely updating their lines and Samsung taking over the world with the Galaxy line. In fact, in 2011 HTC released around 80 phones worldwide. Now that’s way to many phones to release in a 12-month period. Especially since HTC doesn’t make all the components for their phones, while Samsung does.
The HTC One is selling well, but is it selling well enough? Probably not. I’ve been reading that a lot of people are buying the HTC One over the Galaxy S4. But the Galaxy S4 is still going to sell more because people know about the Galaxy brand. Samsung spent over $405 million in marketing last year. That is probably more than HTC made in profits during the entire year last year. Have you ever heard someone say “oh I just got the new Galaxy”? I hear it all the time from normal consumers. Not those that are like us writing here at Android Headlines and our readers who are huge Android fans.
So a future without HTC. It wouldn’t be a good future for Taiwan, but we can only hope another OEM can step up and challenge Samsung. Right now it looks like LG is trying to challenge both Apple and Samsung, but can they do it? I hope HTC doesn’t go away, but one person alone can’t keep a company from going bankrupt. But I will say this, if HTC makes a phone you like, buy it. If LG makes a great phone that you like, but it as well. HTC is a very proud company and they do work hard, even though it probably doesn’t seem like it. As big as Samsung is, they can’t be on top forever. So here’s to a future with HTC in the running for the number one spot.