You really have to feel for HTC. In 2013 it churned out what was largely regarded as Phone of the Year in the HTC One, but the Taiwanese continue to struggle against Android rivals like Samsung and LG.
“What now?” is the question they must ask themselves every friggin’ day, and the latest suggestion is: Let’s bring our software to non-HTC phones. Weird.
Meet HTC Creative Labs, a new division headed by one Drew Bamford. If that name sounds familiar, I scribbled a little bit about him back in April: “Bamford’s duties now extend from overseeing Sense to handling all HTC software and services.”
Presumably Bamford’s idea, at least in part, Creative Labs will bring HTC’s software (cynics might say bloatware) to high-end phones from the likes of Samsung and LG, starting with Zoe.
You might recall Zoe made her debut on 2013’s HTC One, inviting users to throw in videos and pictures, select a theme, add a soundtrack, and in return receive a 30-second highlight thingy, deftly making mundane things seem dead exciting.
You’d be forgiven for wondering what the point in all this is. For my money, bringing Zoe to non-HTC phones only provides another reason not to invest in an HTC handset. Indeed, I made the same point when BlackBerry brought BBM to iOS and Android.
The counter to that argument is that giving non-HTC users a taste of their software will convince them to jump ship, but that seems incredibly naïve.
Furthermore, according to re/code: “HTC is aiming to build an audience before it figures out how to make money from it.” Yeah, that sounds suitably vague.
But hey! Maybe I’m just being Negatron 2000 and HTC is actually onto a bona fide winner. Top 5 Smartphone Manufacturers, here they come! Thoughts?