htc-one-main-screen

AH Primetime: Should HTC Sell the Company?

August 22, 2013 - Written By Lucian Armasu

HTC has been going through some tough time since last year, and their revenues and profits never seem to catch a break, as they continue to fall and fall. So what can HTC do now? Can it turn around on its own, or should it sell itself to some other bigger company that can help them with that much needed marketing boost?

Ideally, HTC shouldn’t sell itself, because it’s always best to have control of your own destiny, and once you sell yourself, you just become another division from another company, and you have other masters. But speaking of other masters, Peter Chou needs to go, no matter what.

He hasn’t been an absolutely terrible CEO. In fact, he’s been a great CEO for the most of HTC’s life. It’s only during the past 2 years or so, since mid-2011, when something went wrong at the company. They started not caring about their brands, and they started wasting all those money earned through very fast growth. I blame this mostly on Peter Chou, and apparently others do, too.

I don’t know if he’s the one behind the HTC One device, and the one pushing the company to make it that great, or not, but even if he is, he’s done too many other mistakes that outweigh that. The worst part is that he continues to make them, which could explain why the company isn’t anywhere close to a full recovery yet. This is why he should just quit, so hopefully someone else can help it recover.

That being said, HTC may already be far away from that “ideal scenario”. They’re very cash limited these days, which means they won’t be able to make their products as great as they could’ve made them in the future, and what will really hurt them will be the inability to properly promote those devices, even if they are indeed great. HTC One could’ve also used a lot more advertising, but HTC can’t afford it. Speaking of advertising, HTC has also had some awful commercials. Whoever is in charge of that needs to be fired, too. What’s all that Robert Downey Jr. nonsense? Is that what will help it sell products?

So if nothing else can be done with the company alone, maybe it’s time to explore the idea of selling itself to a bigger company. But which company would be better for them and who will be interested?

Huawei or ZTE don’t make any sense for HTC, so they should flat out reject them. It does make some sense for those companies as they would gain some premium brands, since their own brands aren’t that premium. But the HTC group would ultimately suffer, and we’ll see a drop in quality in the end. Samsung, LG and Sony have no interest in it, as they can do well on their own just fine.

asus-transformer-prime-02

So that leaves us with Asus and Lenovo. Asus would be a perfect match. They make quality devices, and they are also innovative, just like HTC – and they happen to make aluminum devices, too! What could be a better match?

Lenovo is also an interesting candidate, especially since they want to become very aggressive in the smartphone market, and spend a ton of money on advertising, much like Samsung. That sounds like something HTC would need, and it also gives Lenovo a quick entrance into the western smartphone market. I’m not sure their cultures will match very well, though, so that’s something HTC needs to analyze.

If HTC could recover on its own, that would be great, but if that’s not possible anymore, I’d still like to see HTC’s great devices in the future, even if that means being acquired by Asus or Lenovo. Culturally, I think Asus would be an amazing match, since they are both also from Taiwan. Lenovo is Chinese, so not perfectly aligned there, but could still prove an interesting option for HTC, especially if they throw a lot of money at them.

Which would you prefer to buy them? Or would you rather have them stay independent, if it’s possible?