HTC's smartphone strategy for 2012: less is more

HTC's smartphone strategy for 2012: less is moreNot too long ago HTC was the hottest up-and-coming mobile brand in town, teaming up with the emerging Android to deliver what seemed to be one iconic phone after another.

There's no question that things have tailed off a little since then, but HTC's UK boss Phil Roberson reckons the solution is simple: release fewer products, but make them better.

Speaking to Mobile Magazine, Roberson promised a higher overall spec of device in 2012, but that they would arrive at a slower pace, with the aim of giving consumers “something special”.

“We have to get back to focusing on what made us great – amazing hardware and a great customer experience,” Roberson argued. “We ended 2011 with far more products than we started out with. We tried to do too much.”

Whether such a change of focus is what's needed remains to be seen, but the very fact that Roberson is talking about it makes it easy enough to read between the lines: things aren't going too well at HTC.

Part of the problem has been living up to the legacy of devices such as the Hero and Desire, which were able to stand out from the crowd because the crowd – or the Android crowd at least – wasn't as big as it is today.

Yet there's no denying that for all the new devices launched by HTC over the past 12 months – and there have been a lot – very few have been truly memorable.

Roberson's argument makes a lot of sense, but it's a risky strategy: after all, a drop in quantity is the easy bit – it's the improvement in quality that really matter. Over to you, HTC...

Read more about: Android

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5 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 10:46

But HTC, if less is more, how much more would more be?

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 10:46

Sorry,
nah, I think they're right.

sibeer  Jan. 27, 2012 at 13:03

They are slow in realising this. It takes the general population a while to cotton on to what those in the know are buying. As such sales of the SGS2 are still strong now as people know the product. I couldn;t even tell you which HTC is best any more. Think the range should be Premium large phone. Mid range mid sized phone and a budget model or two, plus maybe a slide keyboard option.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 14:27

It's funny they only realise now, though. In the "old" winmo days they made the same mistake - releasing dozens of models with little or no distinction...then they seemed to have learned the lesson and released the massive HD2 and just a little brother... The HD2 is still selling at almost the original price, while their mass Android output is usually dropping 20% per quarter.

bex85  Jan. 28, 2012 at 18:49

*sigh, left a huge comment then lost it cuz i wasnt logged in* Anyway.

Yes, HTC definitely need to release less, or at the very least, stop releasing a phone every month to take the "top spot". My partner almost got the Incredible S (after almost getting the Desire S) but, decided not to, mainly because I didn't like the design :p. We did however get the Sensation though but, almost as soon as we had it, the Evo 3D was out (fortunately I don't like that but, not the point) as well as the Sensation XE and XL. Personally I'd' prefer the XE but, I only had the Sensation about a month when it came out :|. If you ask someone what HTC's top phone is, chances are, they'll say one of them but, it could be any. I'd be hard pushed to decide but, think I'd go with the original Sensation but, only just. Where as Samsung, they might have quite a few phones out but, each fit in their own "area". Ie, I wouldnt touch the Galaxy Y but, for some it'd be fine. But, nothing beats the S2. Sony Ericsson well they only have two choices, Arc or Arc S and the Arc S wasn't released a month or two after the Arc, at least there was a bigger gap. Annoying but, not as annoying as HTC. I don't feel disappointed that I didn't wait for the Arc S but, I do that I didn't wait for the Sensation XE.

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