HTC promises more for 2012 as clouds start to gather

HTC promises more for 2012 as clouds start to gatherThe mobile market is so competitive these days that you're invariably either moving forward or in trouble, and the difference doesn't tend to be a very big one either.

Take HTC, for example. The up-and-coming Android champion of 2010 is all of a sudden finding itself cast as a stagnating smartphone giant in need of some real innovation to kick-start the good times again. And judging by today's markets, not everyone is convinced it can do it.

HTC's rise to prominence largely mirrored that of Android's itself, mainly because most of the early successes for the Google OS were made by HTC.

But there's no question that Samsung is now the No 1 Android device maker in town, while Apple continues to advance rapidly with each new generation of iPhone and iPad.

We had our own doubts about HTC's future as far back as Mobile World Congress in February, where the Taiwanese firm only had the Facebook duo of the Salsa and ChaCha – which have proved to be the niche handsets many of us always thought they would – along with 'S' evolutions of established favourites such as the Wildfire and Desire to show off.

In other words, not enough. Especially when Samsung had the Galaxy S II breaking cover in the next hall.

HTC's shares are down 62% from their record high in April, a drop only beaten by RIM (though much of the damage to Nokia's share price happened earlier in the year).

HTC chief financial officer Winston Yung, however, believes HTC isn't in for the same kind of troubles. “I don't think it's so serious,” he told Reuters today. “We will focus on the product next year, better and more competitive. Other than new LTE phones for the US market, we have phones for the global market. We will launch some worldwide flagship products. We're confident in them.”

To be fair, much of the drop in HTC's share price comes simply from the readjustment of expectations that were simply too high, and it's worth noting that its expected smartphone shipments for 2012 stand at 45 million, which is still nearly double the 25 million of this year.

But with the good times not quite rolling like they once were, those few voices that have been grumbling for a long time now that HTC's handsets lack design innovation and identity are bound to be getting a lot louder now.

And with Nokia (cautiously) on an upward trajectory again, Sony about to take full control of Sony Ericsson and Google having bought out Motorola, competition in 2012 is going to be harder than ever.

Of course, from a consumer point of view that invariably means better devices at more competitive prices. So we're not too broken up to see a few of the industry's leading lights squirming a little uncomfortably in their chairs.

Read more about: AndroidWindows Phone

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matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 19:55

The last great phone that HTC made was the original's been downhill since then...

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 20:04

The bad: contributing to Android's already bad fragmentation by not anticipating updates to ensure Sense doesn't get in the way of desire-able updates ;)

The Sensation XL - limited storage for a media-centric device? Great :p ; single core, price, etc Makes it look like a hasty addition to fight off the much anticipated Galaxy Nexus and Note.

Sensation XE? Very Sony Ericsson ca 2006 - slab the walkman logo on mediocre handsets...

But it's also an obvious attemtpt to stand out from the robocrowd. Sense was enough to differentiate their range when Android was, you know...p*ss-ugly. These days it's not enough - worse, it gets in the way of OS updates.

Well... Just a couple of thoughts.

On the plus-side: overall, HTCs devices have a more quality, high-end feel. Samsung's now legendary shoddy battery covers come to mind; or faux chrome bezels. Or the Sony Ericsson Play :p

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 20:07

PS - just read what I wrote: not saying the Sensation XE is mediocre; but the Beat software and branding are reminiscent of SE's "efforts"...

dcx_badass  Nov. 28, 2011 at 20:13

After my dad having a Desire HD which spent over 2 months been repaired I'd never touch them again. First had to send it in due to dropping signal. Everytime we got it back it came back with a fault and was returned again the next day, faults it came back from HTC with, reboot loop, no service on any network, no battery returned, dropping signal, or the last time it came back dropping signal and with black battery and sim covers on a brown phone...
In the end CPW agreed it was so flawed they'd swap it for a Galaxy S2. Not looked back since.

blizzard7  Nov. 28, 2011 at 20:24

Ooooerrr! If only Samsung could make their TVs as good as their phones. My TV is only a couple of years old now, but will no longer work nicely with anything 720p. Awesome!

TVs aside, HTC has been dirtying their image by releasing about a nonillion phones which all look roughly the same within a period of about a year, then offering confusing models, some of which are only available in certain locations or some which are the same phone with a different name. Then you have some weird overlapping going on, like the HTC Rhyme stepping on the Desire S's shoes. Not to mention offering phones with no expansion and a miserable amount of built-in storage.

HTC really should take a leaf out of Apple's book and start annualising their releases. It worked great for the iPod and works great for the iPhone. Maybe even do Android releases in February, then Windows Phone releases every August.

Treab  Nov. 28, 2011 at 21:13

A message to HTC.

Love you guys really do. BUT. You brought this on yourselves... the htc rezound why? why is it only an american device? this is the phone the sensation should have been to compete with the sgs2... why not make it worldwide... why compete with the sgs2 with a lower specced phone? and then instead of realising it and competing with the XE your just added red and did some software... it should of had a larger flash drive...

yours treab a disillusioned htc fanboy...

crapfones  Nov. 28, 2011 at 21:38

The Samsung Galaxy II is a terrible phone. It's ugly as hell.

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 21:45

I second EVERYTHING, Treab just said. Samsung didn't necessarily attract me to the SGS2 as much as HTC pushed me away from the arguably disappointing Sensation.

I used to love you and your Desire, HTC; not anymore :(.

Treab  Nov. 28, 2011 at 21:56

ewwww SHUDDER....

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 22:01

Me agreeing with you? Shock of my week :p.

Treab  Nov. 28, 2011 at 22:05

Me agreeing with you? Shock of my week :p.

perhaps lewis will include it in his news of the week report on saturday ;)

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 22:09

He should, it's a rare occasion. It deserves more hype than an Apple launch event ;).

Treab  Nov. 28, 2011 at 22:12

btw i reported your last post to the mods... janny should be banning you at any time now... (stupid blog putting the reply button just under the report button...)

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 28, 2011 at 22:21

Cheers mate, I'm sure Jan will love us both for that :p. I suppose hoax reports gives him something useful to do ;)

Treab  Nov. 28, 2011 at 22:27


its not a hoax you should be banned :p

Jim988  Nov. 29, 2011 at 07:46

Good article, it is very true I used to be a fan of HTC. Now I think sense sucks and samsung is the leader.

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 29, 2011 at 08:07

Jim, I think you're right, Sense is no longer needed (bar the clock, that's infinitely cool :p), HTC no longer need to make Android "pretty", it looks nice enough without Sense bogging everything down... I also agree Samsung definitely make better hardware nowadays, HTC's agreement to use crappy Qualcomm processors is holding them back, Qualcomm wouldn't know what a good CPU/GPU combination is if it punched them in the face...

Treab  Nov. 29, 2011 at 08:32

TBF to htc. they use a leading brand of processors samsung make their own xenios line of processor which no other company can use. HTC still make very good phones but with a more premium feel to it than the sammy but every tom dick and harry will know if you make a music phone add some flash drive... otherwise don't bother.

hard123  Nov. 29, 2011 at 10:19

I think the amazon fire has taken the right approach to android.

Rebrand and skin until its practically unrecoginizable- it'll still be badged android, you'll still get all the press,marketing and software benefits but none of the negative.

Ofcourse it helps having a ready made infrastructure to support this but yeah I'm not entirely convinced that android has longevity, I think we'll see samsung or htc push a new breed of android/new os in the next few having the ability to maintain the os through motorola would ensure survival of sorts, I suppose..

Wouldn't be surprised if amazon usurped everyone.

Divide & conquer

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 29, 2011 at 13:41

The Samsung Galaxy II is a terrible phone. It's ugly as hell.
crapfones, that's a bit childish, isn't it? "ugly" is relative. A matter of taste. And how else is it "terrible"? And while you're at it: any notions about HTC?


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