HTC’s head of design: I’m outta here

HTC’s head of design: I’m outta hereTaiwanese manufacturer HTC continues to endure tough times, but its one saving grace of late has been the sexy design of flagships like the HTC One (left) and One M8.

Uhm, not to put a downer on things, but the man largely responsible for those designs is off to presumably greener pastures.

Scott Croyle has been head of HTC's industrial design and user experience teams since 2008, and his departure undoubtedly comes as a major blow to the ailing manufacturer.

But before we man the life rafts, HTC describes the move as a "long-term transition", with Scott kindly hanging around to make sure HTC doesn’t go down the toilet completely.

"HTC remains at the forefront of smartphone innovation,” insists the Taiwanese manufacturer in a statement to The Verge. “Scott Croyle will be focusing on special projects and dedicated on next generation developments."

Front-runner for the vacancy is Croyle’s right hand man, Jonah Becker, who’ll be tasked with following up the HTC One and One M8, both of which gained abundant critical and consumer acclaim for their design.

Meanwhile, Drew Bamford’s duties now extend from overseeing Sense to handling all HTC software and services. Presumably there’ll be a few extra dollars in his pay packet.

Formerly manufacturer of network-branded handsets, HTC was, for a solitary quarter, the number one smartphone manufacturer in the US. More recently it’s struggled with fierce competition from Samsung, and Chinese manufacturers including Huawei and Lenovo.

Read more about: HTC OneHTC One (M8)Android

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JanSt / MOD  Apr. 28, 2014 at 20:20

I think 2014 may well be the end of HTC. And Blackberry. And some others may focus on things other than smartphones. And frankly: GOOD. Nothing against HTC etc (although, whoever said, "sure, lets drop OIS in favour of something that a 50 cent app can do almost as well"...well...s/he oughta be outsourced to, um, the NSA), but it's pretty simple: not every company on the planet makes cars or blood-pressure cuffs. Why should every other tech company make phones or tablets. Enough is enough. Especially when more and more people realise $250 0r £600.... there isn't all that much of a difference.

Mind you, I'm all for competition to keep the innovation coming, but have 16,000+ Android running devices revolutionised anyone's life recently? I don't think so.

sibeer  Apr. 29, 2014 at 08:35

HTC are one of the original makers of smartphones. Why would you want rid of a company that genuinely innovates and is a true specialist in the area? They struggled for a little bit once every man and his dog started pushing cash at getting a piece of the phone and tablet pie, but since the One they have been releasing worthwhile handsets that set themselves apart. Blackberry had opportunity to listen and should have aligned themselves with Windows or Android (just as HTC moved from Windows to Android), sadly they made a rod for their own backs.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 29, 2014 at 10:02

Were you talking to me? If so, I don't "want to get rid of them".... But it is not surprising that they, and others, struggle. Smartphones are now a normal thing. The greatest-things-since-sliced-bread phase is over.
Yes, Htc have a legacy. They built the only usable WinMo devices (plus, maybe, Palm). They made Android hip... Htc is not Samsung, Sony or M$ who can throw some more money at one struggling division, because another one creates profits.

krogothnx  Apr. 29, 2014 at 10:05

It's a little sad that HTC didn't get the revenue it used to deserve (their Windows Phones, before Nokia came along, were arguably the only thing keeping anyone interested in windows phone, and their earlier Android handsets kickstarted the market before the likes of Samsung came along) but now? Purely because of the stupid camera gimmick, actually making it worse on the new phone? Time to find a new OS to kickstart, HTC.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 29, 2014 at 10:33

Yes, maybe HTC should make Tizen phones :D

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 29, 2014 at 13:55

but since the One they have been releasing worthwhile handsets that set themselves apart.
A single good, high-end phone each year isn't enough to keep HTC afloat. The only good phone they have launched since the One is the One M8. The One Max was average at best, certainly no match for Samsung's Note 3, and the low end HTCs are overpriced and underspecced when compared to a device like the Moto G. HTC aren't Apple, they can't launch one good £500+ device each year, sit back and rake in the profit; their brand simply doesn't have that kind of following.

I liked HTC a few years ago, the Desire was a genuinely good phone, far better in everyday use than Samsung's original Galaxy S of the same year. However, between the release of the Desire HD and the release of last year's One, everything went massively downhill for them. There's little convincing evidence that even the One really turned HTC's fortunes around, I have a suspicion the One M8 won't either.

Good reviews from tech-nerds is one thing, but sales to the (far larger) general public is another. Unfortunately, it's the sales to the unaware general public which make or break a company. Samsung and Apple don't spend millions on marketing for a laugh, they do it to make the general public, who couldn't care less about technology, buy their products. Clearly it works.


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