Five reasons why the ‘HTC One (M8) for Windows’ won’t be the Next Big Thing

Five reasons why the ‘HTC One (M8) for Windows’ won’t be the Next Big ThingI quite like the idea of the “HTC One (M8) for Windows” (to use its full, awkward title), even going as far as calling it “one of the most interesting smartphone releases of the year” when I detailed this week’s launch.

However, enticing as it is, there are several reasons why we shouldn’t expect the HTC One (M8) for Windows to bother the likes of the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5, and here I present five of ‘em.

A brief disclaimer before we begin. I'm not entirely trashing the HTC One (M8) for Windows. In fact, I'd love to take this guy for a spin when - or if - it reaches the UK. Here I'm simply detailing why it likely won't be a game changer - despite my largely positive write-up yesterday. We cool? Good. Let's rock!

Five reasons why the ‘HTC One (M8) for Windows’ won’t be the Next Big Thing1. Consumer awareness and silly name

The HTC One (M8) for Windows. “…for Windows”. What does that even mean? Do I need a Windows computer to get the most out of this thing? Is it a present for the Windows ecosystem?

Yeah, you and I know what the deal is, but why not give this a more consumer-friendly name? For our money, HTC One (W8) made perfect sense – hell, the ‘8’ even ties in perfectly with the operating system version i.e. Windows Phone 8.

But nope, what we have is the HTC One (M8) for Windows. Imagine, if you will, Joe Average going into a shop and seeing the HTC One (M8) for Windows for the first time. In my experience, only the most technical people even know Windows Phone exists, so this should really be promoted as its own thing, rather than simply a Windows Phone variant of an existing thing.

Speaking of promotion, it remains to be seen how – or if – the HTC One (M8) for Windows will be marketed, but given HTC’s track record, I don’t hold out much hope for anything that’s truly going to “reach” consumers.

Five reasons why the ‘HTC One (M8) for Windows’ won’t be the Next Big Thing2. Availability, exclusivity, quantity

The HTC One (M8) for Windows was originally announced as a Verizon exclusive in the US, immediately limiting its potential market. I’ve never understood network exclusives, but presumably there’s something in it for HTC.

There’s still no word on a release elsewhere, though AT&T will supposedly carry the HTC One (M8) for Windows at a later date – whenever Verizon’s period of exclusivity expires.

Still, we get the sense (pun intended) that the HTC One (M8) for Windows will keep a relatively low profile, perhaps on a similar level to Google Play Edition phones. Ish.

Let’s not forget that HTC has been selling what’s effectively the same phone – just with a different operating system (a more successful one, at that) – for several months.

Five reasons why the ‘HTC One (M8) for Windows’ won’t be the Next Big Thing3. Price

Microsoft recently decided to waive its license fee, which supposedly sat at around $15 per handset, so shoving Windows Phone onto the existing One (M8) (right) shouldn’t have posed too many problems for HTC.

But for the consumer, they’re left looking at a phone that ultimately costs the same as the Android model (well, on Verizon, at least), and obviously wondering why they should bother. Again: What is this “Windows Phone” you speak of?

Furthermore, the current price on Verizon is described as “promotional”, vaguely suggesting that the HTC One (M8) for Windows might end up being more expensive than its Android-based brother. Yikes.

Five reasons why the ‘HTC One (M8) for Windows’ won’t be the Next Big Thing4. Android vs. Windows Phone

What it comes down to here is a choice between Android and Windows Phone, and consumers have historically voted overwhelmingly in favour of the former.

Unless someone does a great job explaining why Joe Average should back what’s currently the third-place operating system, instead of Google’s tried and tested OS, the HTC One (M8) for Android is the logical choice.

5. The existing HTC One (M8) hasn’t been a game changer

Getting back to my original point (“why we shouldn’t expect the HTC One (M8) for Windows to bother the likes of the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5”), well, the HTC One (M8) for Android hasn’t given the big players much to worry about, so, logically, an identical phone with what is – in market share terms – an inferior operating system won’t change that.

Read more about: HTC One (M8)AndroidWindows Phone

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13 comments

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 13:54

1) very true... "what, I can't use it with Mac?" Or sumfink....
3) not only exclusive, the way they put it was llike saying, "f*ck you, lesser networks"....

It won't harm Apple or Samsung, but Nokia really needs competition for WP to go anywhere...

tapi  Aug. 21, 2014 at 14:44

one prob with W8
M8 = Mate
W8 = Wait (or worse, weight)

do you want to buy a mate or a wait? the name would sneak into the subconscious of the prospective buyer "why would I want a slow phone" (or heavy) and be used by forum fanbois to describe the OS (incorrectly)

but M8 with windows rather than for would have been slightly preferably to avoid the questions above.

It's similar to the Dell Venue 8 issue, as far as I was concerned they were windows 8 tablets. but now they've just brought out the "venue 8 android".....

Rawkow  Aug. 21, 2014 at 14:59

The best thing that Windows Phone could do is drop the word "Windows" all together.

When i think of Microsoft Windows, i certainly dont think i want more of it in my ilfe.

They should have called it X-Phone. X-box, X-Phone, X-Pad... Admittedly it might appear like a knock off Iphone but at least theyve set a precedent with the Xbox and the millions of people who have heard of Xbox would be more accepting of the XPhone

lcurdie / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 15:57

^ I actually agree with this guy (mostly). There's nothing "cool" or aspirational about Microsoft or Windows products, and adding "for Windows" to the title of a phone will do nothing to help sales.

And yes, no one calls it the Microsoft Xbox 360; it's the Xbox 360. As far as Joe Average is concerned, it might as well be built by someone else entirely.

The various gaffs with the Xbox One, however, reminded us that there's a horrible, money-grabbing corporation at the helm, with its finger now several inches off the pulse. PS4, anyone?

satchef1  Aug. 21, 2014 at 16:06

On point 3, the standard M8 is currently on special too. They both have an on-contract price of $199, but there's currently a half price promotion running.

To be honest, I quite like the idea of having the same phone available with more than one OS. If the hardware is identical then that removes one of the variables. The choice becomes 'which OS do I want?' rather than 'which phone?'. From Windows Phone's standpoint, that's a good place to be. Slowly, the hardware gap is closing and Windows Phone's are looking ever less deficient.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 16:39

According Softpedia the Htc One M8 for Windows is gsm sim unlocked...

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 16:39

krogothnx  Aug. 21, 2014 at 17:19

I actually think not calling it W8 makes sense - M8 is the model number, and while it's become the verbatim model name, it's not the Official model name - it's just the HTC One, making this the HTC One for Windows.

It's the same kinda weirdness that happened with the iPad 3 / iPad 4, which i believe were officially called 'iPad with Retina Display' and 'the new iPad'

If anything, i think this should never have been called HTC One at all. Something completely different. HTC Eight, perhaps.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 22:14

Can't argue... A4 or A4 diesel...
And yes: HTC One was stupid.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 22:16

Buying the simfree M8 for Windows from Verizon translates to €450 plus import costs ...
It is a lot...

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 21, 2014 at 23:20

^ I actually agree with this guy (mostly). There's nothing "cool" or aspirational about Microsoft or Windows products, and adding "for Windows" to the title of a phone will do nothing to help sales.

And yes, no one calls it the Microsoft Xbox 360; it's the Xbox 360. As far as Joe Average is concerned, it might as well be built by someone else entirely.

The various gaffs with the Xbox One, however, reminded us that there's a horrible, money-grabbing corporation at the helm, with its finger now several inches off the pulse. PS4, anyone?

This ^^^

No-one thinks M$ are cool or interesting, people associate it with Word, Excel and that horribly slow, crashy PC they have to use at work.

I bet millions of people have no idea that their 360 is made by the same company who make Excel. That said, there are worse M$ Office programs than Excel...God forbid you ever need to bother with bloody Access.

JavaJack  Aug. 24, 2014 at 15:56

While I understand your points and agree this is not a "game changer" but I disagree with your most of your points.

1) Name: No one cares about names...as someone else pointed out, an Ipad is an iPad, no one goes around calling iPad 1 or iPad 2 or iPad Air...it is just iPad. Too much emphasis is placed on the name but at the end of the day, it is the HTC One and it is just a matter of whether you want an Android version or WP version.

2) Exclusivity. I agree here. Exclusivity sucks for the consumer and limits market potential. My guess is that this may have been necessary for HTC to get any carrier to agree to pick it up...at least to get it started. When a device is selling well, everyone wants it but if it is just starting out or untested, it's harder to get anyone to pick it up and start selling it.

3) Price...this is common among carriers and handset devices. I think the pricing is on par with the Android version. This is more about the carrier and the subsidies they are going to get for selling the phone. This should have little to no impact on the success or failure of the phone. HTC's biggest problem is their lack of advertising. They make great phones but don't do any advertising. I see Samsung and Apple commercials on TV every day telling me how great their phones are...where is HTC? You can't create awareness if you are not getting in front of the customer.

4) There are plenty of reasons why Android has grown so much over the past few years. I remember when they took top spot from Apple and so many people thought Apple would start to whither away but that did not happen. Android grew so fast because the devices were free with a contract. Consumers could either pay $200+ (USD) for an iPhone or get a free smartphone with contract. It was an easy way to move from a tired old flip phone to a smartphone. Furthermore, iPhone was exclusive to ATT for a long time, other carriers needed something to compete. However today, the environment is different. Consumers have a choice so even though Msft is giving away the OS, the consumer has alternatives so it is much higher barrier of entry. But Msft has made a smart move by working to repurpose Android h/w. You can bet that LG, Sony, Samsung and other Android device makers are going to watch this closely. Not having to redesign a unique h/w platform for a WPhone is a significant cost savings for h/w vendors. They could now easily expand their market share and sales with a simple s/w port. WP 8.1 is a pretty good OS and finally brings it on par or slightly better than competitive products. If Msft can turn some heads and grow their market even slightly, it may be enough to get other handset vendors to port s/w over and offer a slew of new handsets. Then the only issue remaining is for the carriers to pick up the new devices and actually make them available to consumers.

5) HTC game changer...this is true but I think it falls back to my earlier comment that HTC's biggest problem is HTC. They need to spend more time promoting their own products instead of relying on carriers to do their advertising.

Overall, this is an impressive phone and WP 8.1 is a great phone OS. As someone that has used iPhone for the first 4 generations and currently on Android for the past 2 years, my next phone will be the Windows version of the HTC One once available on AT&T. My wife moved from iPhone to Nokia 1520 a month ago and loves it way more than her iPhone. I am hoping that ATT will be able to release it soon.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 26, 2014 at 12:33

Java Jack,

Thanks - a lot of thought put into your reply...

1) name... yes, I was on Twitter when the iPad was unveiled. The word 'iPad' trended for hours and days... everyone thought it was stupid and silly and...oh, then they rushed off to queue for an iPad. However, HTC One For Windows is a bit more, um,extravagant. It's "for Windows Phone"; it's the Htc One M8 for Windows Phone... Try googling "Htc One for Windows + [fill in any problem]"... a b*tch in terms of search...

2) Exlusivity killed webOS. To launch the Pre in Europe exclusively with O2 while the world is
going iPhone nutso? Nuts. And now Apple are about to release a device or devices that is/are gonna hit like a bomb...and you go exclusive? On the other hand: with Lumias bumbling despite good reviews, would more than one network jump onto the W8 (!) ???
Difficult. But keeping the rest of the world in the dark - now there IS stupid. UK and some European markets are were WP is doing 'better'.... But they went for Verizon? How much effort is a US carrier going to put into selling the "W8" once the new iWare is out? Any guesses? When I walked into an O2 store on the day the exclusive Palm Pre launched, they didn't know what I wanted. I said, do you have a Pre in stock, yet. Pre? What? The manager and her colleague stood right under an A0 size poster of the Pre! You can't make it up...

3) agree... In a world where pricing of our beloved gadgets is completely 'unreal' and distorted, it's hard to argue against Verizon/Htc...

4) Good points... Also: I find Android a mess... so I'll limit my comments in that regard.

5) difficult... without going into a long spiel about the fact that ALL companies not called Apple (and some Chinese companies) struggle. Do you think Sony would release a Z-model every month if they were doing well? It also seems people think every model can sell 100s of millions of times like an iPhone. And at times it feels as if OEMs actually believe that nonsense.
10 million units of a smartphone sold was a big deal, before everyone made them...

There's the issue of a cr*ppy world economy. There's the issue that people have learned not every new app is of use, not every new flagship is the next big thing etc etc...

Companies want - so it seems - Apple-type sales PER model, while also flooding the market with hundreds of models to reach ever crack under every rock. Not possible. NOT possible.
A recent study re apps usage found that currently a successful Android app is used by OVER 18,000 unique device models. VERSUS 10 or so iDevices. Let it sink in.

BB10.3 by the way, could prove a surprise stumbling block for WP's 'rise'. But this isn't the place.

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