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AH Primetime: HTC To Continue Moving Away From Their Comfort Zone, Can They Succeed?

February 24, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

The HTC One (M9) and Samsung Galaxy S6 are among the most-anticipated flagship smartphones of the year. Unfortunately for HTC, their sales haven’t been going all that well for a long time now. HTC’s marketshare is not comparable to Samsung’s despite this Korean giant’s problems in 2014 (significant profit drops). HTC actually had to cut costs and restructure to some extent in 2014 in order to keep turning profit. This company is full of potential though, HTC has been around for a long time now and they are making really compelling handsets. Their One (M8) flagship was one of the best smartphones last year, same can be said about the One (M7) a year before that. So, what’s the problem? Well, there are many underlying problems here many would say, but marketing might be the main culprit here.

Why marketing? Well, we all know that advertising something properly can make people buy that product, well, HTC has been advertising their products, but their marketing machine doesn’t seem to be strong enough compared to other major OEMs. HTC might not have as many resources at the moment, and that’s alright, but the company has to find a way to skyrocket their sales somehow, they have to appeal to consumers any way they can. For comparison’s sake, HTC was the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer back in 2012, two years later the company fell below Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Lenovo and LG.

So, what’s HTC’s plan? Well, you might recall that they announced the RE Camera last year, and also a rather odd Desire Eye handset. This means that HTC is ready to step up of its comfort zone of making smartphones only, and a specific type of smartphones, if I can put it that way. Many reports suggest that HTC is planning to use their event at MWC on March 1st to re-invent themselves in a way. HTC will launch their One (M9) flagship at the event, but we can expect much more from this Taiwan-based company it seems.

HTC plans to enter several markets really soon, and MWC might be the perfect time to do it. HTC has created a fitness tracker in collaboration with Under Armor, but the company seems to have plans to enter the entertainment market with a separate device as well, a gaming device it seems. Moving on to software, HTC’s Sense UI skin for Android has become a lot less bloated over the years and is considered one of the best Android skins on the market. The company has also started opening up their services / apps, like their Zoe photo-video editor, for example, which is now free to all Android users.

HTC will continue moving in this direction, moving away from being just a smartphone and tablet maker, and taking risks by releasing non-typical devices, and making unorthodox moves for this Taiwanese company. “This is not an experiment, this is a tectonic shift in what’s going on with HTC, and Creative Labs is the seed,” said Drew Bamford, head of HTC’s Creative Labs. This part of HTC is leading all of the company’s software endeavors, and it will be interesting to see what they come up with next. They’ve been doing a really good job thus far, though it seems like they have a lot more planned. “You have to be willing to invest in a portfolio of products and hope some of them hit,” added Drew Bamford.