HTC were smartphone pioneers in a number of ways. Sure, they were the first to the market with Android thanks to their partnership with Google and T-Mobile, resulting in the G1, but they were turning heads before then. Back when Windows on mobiles was refreshingly called Windows Mobile, HTC started selling devices under their own name for the first time – they previously made devices for the likes of HP and Compaq – they became known for making devices that looked good on the inside and the out. The company became known for an exellent user interface with devices like the HTC Diamond Touch, and since then we’ve become to know HTC for devices like the HTC One and their Sense UI on top of Android. If recent news is any indication, we might not be talking about HTC all that much in the future.
Recently, the HTC share price fell to a new, all-time low in the company’s home nation of Taiwan and now, the company has been delisted from the nation’s Blue Chip Index. This means that HTC, a firm that was once known for some of the best smartphones in the world, and traded blows with Samsung and Apple, is no longer part of the country’s top 50 companies. This news makes for a good headline, but it’s hardly surprising. Any company that has shrunk as much as HTC in size and loses $247 Million in Q2 earnings is not exactly guaranteed a spot in the FTSE TWSE Taiwan 50 index.
What has happened to HTC is sad and disappointing, but it’s fairly obvious they dug their own hole. Back with the original HTC One M7, and the One M8, HTC had some of the best-looking devices on the market and with thoughtful features like BoomSound – which some manufacturers still can’t best – HTC could have turned things around. Without the right focus on marketing and a misguided, sloppy approach to the low-end and mid-range sectors, HTC has lost their brand presence and it’s hard to see where the company goes from here. Competition is what gives Android its wonderful characteristic of choice, and to see HTC fade away entirely would be a shame. More so than ever, the next 12-to-18 months will be make or break for the fledgling Taiwan firm.