HTC aims to end product slump with “better and more competitive” phones next year

Daniel Bader

November 28, 2011 2:48pm

It may not seem like it from the sheer volume of new product being released by HTC, but the company has not had a great run of luck as of late. In nine days its share price has dropped 30% due to a number of factors that have led to a perfect storm of selling off. First, it cut its growth expectation for the coming fourth quarter to zero, and shorted its expected phone shipment to 45 million units. While its previous quarter was its biggest on record, the world’s fourth-biggest smartphone maker is struggling against a resurgent Apple with the iPhone 4S, and an indelibly strong Samsung with its Galaxy lineup.

In addition to the blows on the street, HTC has been dealt two additional hits: they lost a patent infringement case last week after accusing Apple of edging in on a patent they obtained with the purchase of S3 Graphics. That acquisition, as a result of the defeat, has been called into question. Apple also has several patent infringement cases against HTC awaiting a decision, the first of which is expected at the beginning of December.

But 2012 is another year, and with it another opportunity to wow customers. HTC has been trying to differentiate itself from the rest of the Android market by bundling high-quality Beats headphones with their high-end devices, a result of their acquisition of Beats Audio earlier in the year. With the release of the Amaze and Raider they have stepped up their game against Samsung and Apple, offering exceptional camera quality and network speeds.

We’ve already seen the rumoured HTC Ville and even more powerful Zeta, and expectations are high for the company’s first crop of Android 4.0 devices. Whether they can stem the tide of slowdown — they’re expected to only grow 7% next year — by continuing to tether itself to Android remains to be seen.

HTC CFO Winston Yung said “We will focus on the product next year, better and more competitive. Other than new LTE phones for the U.S. market, we have phones for the global market. We will launch some worldwide flagship products. We’re confident in them”.

Source: Reuters
Via: BGR

  • Tom

    I avoid HTC because Sense seems like such a ‘thick skin’ – I want something closer to stock.

    Also, it seems like they are creating such a dizzying array of models – it makes me doubt I will get much support for any of them.

    Samsung at least appears to have a single enduring flagship line that they stick to care about: the Galaxy S series.

    Now I know that there are a dizzying array of sub-models within the Galaxy S line so maybe I won’t do any better with one of them then with one of the myriad of HTC phones, but Samsung at least gives the impression of dedication to their products.

    In the end, while choice is good, the Androids suffer from too much choice now, and I’d rather not buy any phone that is only going to sell 12 copies…

  • cody

    I want a flagship here in Canada the same time it arrives in the UK, not 6 months later!

  • David

    Sounds like a certain Waterloo, ON-based company…

  • Andy A

    HTC you have amazing hardware..all you have to do is cut back on releasing phones and do something about sense and you will be fine.

  • Shawn S

    Resurgent Apple???

  • Stimulator

    The one benefit of constantly releasing new models is that they never fall behind in technology. You can’t accuse HTC of releasing outdated phones (cough..RIM cough..), or only releasing one good model per year which is outdated by the time the next model comes out (Apple..). There is always an HTC phone available with current high end specs. The same goes for Samsung as well, but I think HTC beats them on design and build quality.

  • Studystand

    “HTC has been trying to differentiate itself from the rest of the Android market by bundling high-quality Beats headphones with their high-end devices, a result of their acquisition of Beats Audio earlier in the year.”

    You may want to fix that sentence, HTC never acquired Beats Audio. They just partnered with HP to strengthen their line-up.

  • Dan

    As I’ve mentioned in the other HTC article this morning and as the general sentiment seems to be in the comments here, HTC needs to cut Sense (or at least make it very light) and stop releasing a new phone every week.

    Also the Beats gimmick is kind of annoying as the technology is more than overrated and does not justify any premium.

    HTC need to release a good high spec phone, with no bloat (they can have Sense, but as a very light skin that does not hog memory and lets Android run the show), ICS, and the nice build quality they are known for. Oh and also… thrown in a non crappy battery that lasts at least a day.

  • Andrew

    Along with the beats HP partnership, we are likely going to see HTC WebOS phones by mid 2012. Change is coming to HTC and I think it may be interesting.

  • The Ice Cream Man

    It doesn’t make sense for them to invest so much money into Beats Audio only for them to use it select models. They need to include it into every model they make.

    They also need to stop making WP7 phones, let Samsung and Nokia handle that.

    Last thing is now that they have sound covered. They need to concentrate on their cameras! Even the CEO recognizes that there cameras are terrible.

    They should be knocking at Google’s doorstep pleading with them to make the next Nexus phone!! Google knows that Moto doesn’t have what it takes yet to make the next one! You started with the Nexus line so get back to what your good at doing!!!

  • droidacolyte

    I would love to see HTC come out with another stock Android (a Nexus or a “G-line” phone with a qwerty like the T-Mobile G1 and G2). HTC Sense is ok. But I prefer stock.

  • Montrealer

    HTC like Samsung (except the s2 maybe) are lacking in originality in design. People on this websites are informed consumers, but average consumer can’t differenciate older HTC models from new. People, unfortunately, likes to show off. How the hell everyone’s gonna notice I’ve got a new phone if they can’t identify it from the first look. Nokia, on the other hand, understands this and came up with an original design (lumia 800) and apparently, their selling like hotcakes in Europe. I personnaly find HTC hardware better than Samsung.

  • Jerry

    I would purchase a HTC phone as I like the hardware. The HTC sense needs to be tamed down a bit. The biggest complaint I hear with HTC is battery life. That’s the main reason I chose the Galaxy S2 over the EVO 3D. I also thought the 3D was gimmicky and didn’t see the need for it. Camera/screen quality was also better on the GS2.

  • Cee

    i hope HTC Rhyme comes to Canada next year.

  • nate

    I am a big fan of HTC phones but all this HP partnership stuff for beats and a new Sense OS doesn’t draw me in. If they would stick with making some of the most unique shell designs like they have been for years and keep improving their technology the way they do (just wish it wasn’t so fast my HTC Desire that is 1.5 years old is already outdated) The only other option I think would send them over the top is if every model had OS options to have Sense on or off, or to be able to enable rooting so we can update our own OS (obviously voiding warranty).

  • Sean

    The problem is within a few months they have released like 4 “flagship” devices the Sensation, Sensation XE, Amaze and Raider. They should do every 6 months come out with a flagship phone (Raider) a high end but not high end phone (Sensation XL) a medium end (Rhyme) and a low end (Wildfire S) Then they can target the phone at an audience create bran appeal for the product, promote the devices and achieve good returns for the R/D

  • lol

    Agree with the other comments, this is what you get when you release a new flagship every month htc… /fail. Most phones even look the same, and htc phones probably have the worst battery life out of all android oems.

    They should do it like samsung where they have one flagship for at least six months (SGS II) rather than release a new one every month.

    Samsung seems to be more on the ball with the updates too currently and in the future. With phones like the s2 and note having a promised ICS update while htc sits there trying to figure out how to mix ics with sense.

    Id love to buy an htc device again, but until the sense act and battery life issues are cleaned up, its samsung ftw for me…

  • Stuntman

    I happen to like Sense. When compared to my friend’s Nexus S, my Desire Z seems to have some cooler, built-in features and widgets.

    One thing that I have noticed about HTC phones is that many seem to be too similar to each other. There are some variety that I can see make sense for different target audiences. However, there are some that are simply end up competing with each other for a similar market segment. If anything, HTC should probably focus their line of products a little better, so that they don’t end up overlapping too much.

  • raynz

    HTC is a great manufacturer. My last 2 phones over the last 4 years have all been HTC. From my first being the HTC P4000 and currently with the HTC Hero. They have always made, conservative but well styled devices. I like to compare it with BMW or VW. They both design very conservative cars that evolve slowly in design over the years. Not crazy stylized like Hyundai now which makes very future forward looking cars. But BMW and VW will look better in 10 years then a current Hyundai in 10 years. Same with HTC. I still pull out my 2 year old HTC Hero and have your average consumer looking at it and saying wow thats a nice phone. Not even realizing the specs are very out of date. Not to mention they make quite sturdy phones. I hate using a case and my phones are all still working perfect without issue and even after all the drops they have been through. I plan on getting an HTC Amaze next. Again, another conservative but well styled high quality and hefty feeling phone.

    I love how sense is laid out. Probly the most attractive android overlay but certainly HTC does have an opportunity to enhance its operations to be less hefty and more quick like touchwiz. I believe 4.0 ICS will help this.

    I have to agree though with the general comments here in regards to the many handsets they are putting out as they appear to be almost over saturating the market. Key word APPEAR. Samsungs naming structure allows them to seem more cohesive and organized. They have 3 different S2’s but they are all S2’s. Different designs and small spec differences like all of HTC devices are from each-other but how they go about it is keeping them similar enough and creating a cohesive design language that allows the consumer to see them as one device and more on level with Apple. As much as it pains me to say that.

    But I believe HTC is highly underrated by the average consumer and I will continue to support them.