2012 in review: HTC

2012 in review: HTCEarlier this week we summed up 2012 for Samsung and Apple, and things were largely mostly kinda positive for those guys. Well, makes sense, since they’re the top two global smartphone manufacturers by miles and miles.

Now it’s time – sorry – to go all doom and gloom, thanks to Taiwanese manufacturer HTC and its frankly godawful 2012.

Where did it all go wrong for HTC? It was once the darling of the Android world circa the HTC Desire and HTC Desire HD in 2010. I guess Samsung should take at least some of the blame, with its utter Android dominance.

Let’s peruse more closely, starting with last year…

HTC’s 2011

It’s perhaps fair to say that the HTC backlash kicked at off Mobile World Congress 2011. Its showing was yawn-inducing, with the HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Wildfire S, and not forgetting the unofficial “Facebook phones” – the HTC Salsa and HTC ChaCha.

There was also the 7in HTC Flyer tablet, which initially proved interesting, but ultimately failed to take off (pun intended).

Things picked up shortly thereafter with the HTC Sensation, and later in the year we met the HTC Sensation XE and HTC Sensation XL. Throw in the HTC Titan and we’re easily into double figures.

HTC predicted record sales in Q3 2011, and things were indeed emphatically positive, but come the end of the year there was a definite sense that HTC had gone overboard.

Indeed, HTC's UK boss Phil Roberson conceded: “We ended 2011 with far more products than we started out with. We tried to do too much,” suggesting that less is more would be the strategy in 2012.

HTC’s 2012

By the time we welcomed 2012, Samsung was well and truly asserting its presence in the Android world, largely thanks to the Samsung Galaxy S II.

And it speaks volumes that the big story at Mobile World Congress 2012 was the Samsung Galaxy S III not showing up, which put a strange downer on things.

In the “less is more” spirit, HTC unveiled a relatively simple trio at MWC 2012, specifically the HTC One X, HTC One S and HTC One V.

While the quad-core HTC One X was generally well-received, there was a prevailing feeling among thinkier smartphone fans that it’d make sense (pun intended) to wait and see what Samsung had to offer. And we all know how that story goes...

HTC kept a strangely low profile post MWC, with predictably poor Q1 2012 results and the HTC Desire C being the only Android-based thing worth mentioning until quite recently.

There was more badness with the Beats fiasco, when HTC backtracked on the bundled headphones idea and sidelined the CFO who pushed through the whole thing.

On a more positive note, a couple of months ago HTC unveiled the 5in 1080p J Butterfly in Japan. It materialised in the states as the Droid DNA, while we’re still waiting for confirmation that the global HTC Butterfly is destined for the UK. It's all very strange.

Continuing the strange train of thought, we’ve been hearing this week that HTC canned plans for a 5in Windows Phone 8 device on account of hardware limitations, though something doesn’t quite add up (see comments).

As it is, HTC’s Windows Phone 8 arsenal is comprised of just the 8X and 8S for now, though there’s vaguely interesting talk of HTC supplanting Nokia as Microsoft’s favourite Windows Phone 8 partner (Bloomberg).

While that all sounds clear enough for the most part (question mark over the HTC Butterfly aside), and is ultimately more palatable than 2011, HTC continues to perform quite terribly.

According to IDC estimates, HTC’s Q3 2011 smartphone market share was a decent 10.3% (third place), slipping to just 4% (sixth place) in the same quarter this year. Eek.

HTC’s 2013

Earlier this week we heard that HTC has supposedly lowered its expectations for Q1 2013 – thanks to cheap Chinese handsets, bloody Apple and bloomin’ Samsung, and lower-than-expected Windows Phone sales.

And the rumour mill predicts even fewer HTC handsets next year, if such a thing is possible.

How depressing. Anyone know any good jokes?

Read more about: HTC One XAndroidWindows PhoneHTC One SHTC One VHTC Windows Phone 8SHTC Windows Phone 8X

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3 comments

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 22, 2012 at 17:58

Summary of HTC's 2012:

Bad.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 22, 2012 at 18:02

The last good phone HTC made the the original Desire, that was nearly 3 years ago now. Everything since then has either been hideously unreliable (Desire HD), not flawed in itself but overshadowed by Samsung (Sensation) or a compromised product which was a result of not listening to what the end consumer actually wanted (One X ). Some of HTC's products managed more than one of these, hell, I reckon the One X had a pretty good stab at all three.

AhmadCentral  Dec. 22, 2012 at 23:38

The last good phone HTC made the the original Desire, that was nearly 3 years ago now. Everything since then has either been hideously unreliable (Desire HD), not flawed in itself but overshadowed by Samsung (Sensation) or a compromised product which was a result of not listening to what the end consumer actually wanted (One X ). Some of HTC's products managed more than one of these, hell, I reckon the One X had a pretty good stab at all three.

Duuuudeeee. You can totally read my mind man (read in a hippie voice)

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