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HTC Losing Ground Faster Than RIM or Nokia

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the race-to-the-bottom dept.

Cellphones 280

zacharye writes "How bad is HTC's current tailspin? So bad it makes Nokia look like a growth company. HTC's handset volume declined by -43% in the autumn quarter vs. Nokia's -23% volume decline. This is very interesting because HTC is using Android, the world's most popular smartphone OS, that is powering 40% annualized growth among its vendors. Nokia is limping along with an unholy mix of the obsolete Symbian platform, the moribund S40 feature phone platform and a niche OS called Windows Phone."

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Why is that "interesting"? (0)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 2 years ago | (#41783139)

Android is not making money for anyone except for Samsung and the carriers.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783177)

Except for also LG, Huawai, ZTE, Sony, and many others. The only one i know that doesn't make any money for anyone is Windows Phone

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#41783229)

And Google! Don't forget them!

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#41783365)

And Kyocera!

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | about 2 years ago | (#41783585)

How is Google making money out of Android?

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783687)

By having many more consumers subject to ubiquitous ads and tracking for their analytics platform...

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#41783959)

It'll take a lot of ads to pay back the $12 billion spent on Motorola (and don't forget: they lost $500 million last quarter.). Hell, I doubt they've even made up the $300 million or so they spent on android itself, never mind the continual development.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (3, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 2 years ago | (#41784061)

Sony:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/02/sony-loses-312m-in-last-quarter_n_1731696.html [huffingtonpost.co.uk]

Sony Loses $312m In Last Quarter On Weak Gaming And Mobile Sales

ZTE:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/10/15/zte-warns-of-upcoming-quarterly-and-9m-loss.aspx [fool.com]

ZTE Warns of Upcoming Losses

Huawai:

They don't report profits AFAIK.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783191)

Who cares about a fucking Nokia. Children are starving in Africa and you give a shit about a fucking Nokia? Fuck you. Instead of shooting electron beams at a Nokia to see what happens these scientists should be in the wheat fields growing food for starving children in 3rd world countries. First world fuckers like yourself are decadent faggots who care more about a Nokia than humans. Those same starving children probably mined the Nokia for you so you could play with it in your lab. Fuckers.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41783489)

Why's that? so that way there are 100 million starving children 10 years from now instead of 20 million? Your entire argument is a fallacy.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784303)

Maybe the folks in those 3rd world countries should stop reproducing like rabbits. From a coldly objective point of view, when an animal over-populates an area and there isn't enough food some die off until an equilibrium is reached. By artificially mucking with that balance, one can do more harm than good.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (5, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#41783283)

They were doing fine selling Android last year.

Then they got the brilliant idea that people don't want replaceable batteries or expandable storage and created the One line around that.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#41783407)

Yeah, just occasionally, products do poorly because they're not the best products.

Crazy, I know! ;)

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (5, Interesting)

aoteoroa (596031) | about 2 years ago | (#41783575)

While shopping for a new phone during the summer nearly every store tried to talk me out of HTC

I had researched extensively and found the HTC One V had the best camera on the market for a phone under $200 (with no contract), and was small in size (contrary to the current trend I prefer small phones) and had Android 4 out of the box.

I walked out of one store because the pushed samsung so hard, and out of another store since they no longer carried HTC. Only at the third store did I find the phone.

Incidentally this phone's camera is amazing if you're a photographer and like to tinker. It gives you true autofocus. Exposure control to plus or minus two stops, and a mode that brackets exposure (-1, 0, +1) and puts the three images together to give high contrast scenes beautifully smooth detail.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (2)

WillKemp (1338605) | about 2 years ago | (#41783983)

I seriously considered the One X, but the lack of removable battery and storage put me off and i got the Galaxy S3 instead. It's a shame, because i'm sure the One X is a better phone in many ways.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (4, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41784193)

I seriously considered the One X, but the lack of removable battery and storage put me off and i got the Galaxy S3 instead. It's a shame, because i'm sure the One X is a better phone in many ways.

I went through exactly the same thought processes, and came to the same conclusion. The HTC One X with 32GB was about the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S3 with 16GB (the small price difference was not an issue). The HTC was rated as having a display at least as good as the Galaxy, but the HTC Sense interface was a minor put-off. The killer in my decision making was that the HTC has no SDHC card slot and is lumbered with an unreplaceable battery, while the Samsung has both SDHC and a replaceable battery. I bought the Samsung and a 32GB card, which together cost more than the HTC.

The other dumb thing HTC did was discontinue phones with keyboards. My daughter has a Desire Z, and probably won't replace it for a long time because there is nothing on the market to compete with it. If any phone were available with a good display and a keyboard, I'd probably have bought one, even if its price were higher than the Galaxy S3.

If anyone from HTC is reading this, they have a few things to take home and beat into whatever remains from their marketing department: (i) expandable storage is life or death for a phone, (ii) a replaceable battery is very very attractive, (iii) physical keyboards get customer loyalty.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41784421)

I went through the same evaluation and looked at the fact that i had never even once swapped batteries in any phone I've ever owned.

I found a $50 external battery pack that can recharge the phone four times on a single 5 hour recharge. Then i found the phone gets 18 hours of run time on a single charge, so the number of times I would actually need the battery pack were vanishingly small.

So I dismissed all the swappable battery posers, bought the HTC One X, and it is the best phone I've ever seen.
Battery swapping is seldom necessary, and when you do need more power an external battery pack make way more sense. It has a lot of other uses.

HTC is on lean times because it doesn't have the marketing clout of Samsung. Not because their phones are inferior.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784007)

I am sorry but features what you just told are even on ZTE Blade what is sub 100 dollar smartphone.

Autofocus
EV adjustment
Fake HDR (real HDR demands that screen is capable for it and) there are only few desktop displays at price of tens of thousands.)

Then there are year old android smartphones what has optical image stabilization for 2-3 EV, wireless charging and all kind other fancy stuff, for 250 bucks.

HTC makes good looking phones but should focus to bring vanilla andrioid phones.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (2)

MrHanky (141717) | about 2 years ago | (#41784125)

I've seen lots of reviews of the One X and One V, and while many have praised the cameras, the photos they've shown off have all had serious issues with over-saturated colours. Granted, over-saturated colours is what the iPhone 4 got all its praise for: it's eye-catching, even though distorted. My colleague bought a One X for the camera, and is very unhappy with it. Samsung's cameras are far superior.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (5, Informative)

Emetophobe (878584) | about 2 years ago | (#41784353)

Releasing 11 different models between April 2012 and July 2012 probably has something to do with it aswell: Source [wikipedia.org] . That's what really killed HTC, releasing too many phones and not supporting any of them.

Two of my friends bought HTC phones a year ago, one bought the original HTC Evo, the other bought an HTC Evo 3D. Now both of them say they'll never purchase another HTC phone again. I was lucky, I almost bought the original HTC Evo when it came out but I ended up waiting and getting a Nexus S instead. Now I'm running official Jelly Bean while my buddies are forced to use custom firmware to get updates.

HTC did this to themselves.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (1)

richlv (778496) | about 2 years ago | (#41783629)

it's interesting because just some 6 months ago people were having htc as a poster child of why embracing winphone is good for nokia. no failure possible there, just look at htc !

meego was nokia's winning ticket. they traded it for another dose of "free" drugs.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (2, Informative)

fatphil (181876) | about 2 years ago | (#41783947)

Meego was fantasy bullshit. Maemo would have been their winning ticket if they hadn't changed everything repeatedly (look at the early mock-up preview Harmattan slides at the NDC - the final product was diametrically different), and jumped into bed with an 800lb gorilla who had no interest in what Nokia was doing. Then again, Nokia had such a huge range of problems I could write a whole book about them. My history with them doesn't go back long enough to know what it was like in the OSSO days, but I can tell you they were a train-wreck in the meego days.

Re:Why is that "interesting"? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#41784077)

HTC is basically an example of why Windows phone might be good for nokia. If Nokia can't compete with samsung on android they need to do so elsewhere.

Nokia's problem was that they really didn't have compelling software for the future. That was clearly iOS, Android or Windows phone (and probably not all 3, and probably not anything else). They can't do iOS. So that left 'just another android maker' which, while certainly possible, didn't seem like a great strategy - and it hasn't worked well for HTC, or be the lead windows phones guys and get a boatload of money from microsoft.

The thing with being 'just another android maker' is that people can immediately jump ship if your product is even marginally worse than the competition, it's like first past the post voting the guy with 50% + 1 votes gets 100% of the power, well, if you look at the hardware Nokia has been releasing for windows phone, frankly, they're a generation behind the competition (at least). That's bad. Very bad. As an android maker they could be losing money like crazy *and* not getting a cheque from microsoft.

As it is, they made the long play gamble. If windows 8 takes off, especially if microsoft can pitch some sort of integrated microsoft entertainment experience that people can actually tangibly understand (and tied into xbl and business productivity etc.) they could be in the right place when the time comes. I'm not a fan of windows 8, but that doesn't mean the market as a whole will agree with me, and basically everyone may as well read tea leaves to find out if this is going to go well or not.

Broken Window? (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 2 years ago | (#41783999)

Android is not making money

You know, this is an interesting inversion of the Broken Window fallacy.

In the former, you destroy real value to make imaginary dollars move around. In this case, we have real value being created each time someone finds the software to be useful, even though most players don't earn more than a sliver of profit.

HTC's handset volume declined by -43% (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783149)

So that means its volume increased by 43%?

European-style negative percentages (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#41783275)

For some reason in Europe, you tend to see a lot of stores advertising "-50% off!" sales and such.

Apparently double negative percentages have the opposite meaning in parts of the world.

Re:European-style negative percentages (5, Informative)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#41783969)

It is an old way to stop hacks of the pen or the pencil. Most of the people do not even know why it is still used and what it means. One evil fellow might add a number in front or at the end of an existing number. So, the old European book-keepers wrote a dot or a dash before and after the numbers that were final. The minus (-) is a dash in this case, so that no one can make 150% out of ----50% Just history and a lesson for you to add dashes at the end of important numbers on paper. Good German teachers still teach this practice to their students.

Re:European-style negative percentages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784035)

I'm not an expert by any means, but it seems to me that the meaning is essentially the same. The subtle difference lies in the fact that while the word "off" is used, the figure -50% is important since that tells you that you decrease the price by 50% (decrease if percentage increase in price. Which is it?" Less confusion is better. :)

Re:European-style negative percentages (1)

MisterMidi (1119653) | about 2 years ago | (#41784263)

It means the same here in Europe. It's just that we have stupid people too, who'll blindly copy other people's mistakes. If you do an image search for "korting", "Rabatt", "rabat", "soldes" or "réduction" (discount in various European languages), you'll see the vast majority doing it right.

The iPhone effect? (4, Interesting)

Shoten (260439) | about 2 years ago | (#41783151)

Okay, so HTC took a 43% hit on total units shipped in the Autumn quarter...the same quarter that the iPhone 5 came out. How heavy a hit did they have in Summer and Spring? It's happened before that when a new iPhone comes out, that's pretty much all anyone buys for a short while. Nokia's decline, on the other hand, has been going on consistently for some years now. A 23% drop for them means, what...that they delivered 23 less phones than the previous quarter?

Re:The iPhone effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783445)

No. Only about 11.5 less this time around. That 0.5 comes because they resold one less refurbished unit than usual.

Re:The iPhone effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784137)

If that was the case, then it would have affected Samsung, too, but Samsung is selling record amounts of phones. More than Apple.

Re:The iPhone effect? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 years ago | (#41784429)

Yes, but we Samsung buyers would have bought HTC if they ahd replaceable batteries and removable SD cards, and we will next time, if HTC get the message that people dont buy iPhones just because they can't change the battery. I still have, and use, an HTC Desire, and I have three spare batteries (ie 4 batteries) to make damn sure I can use it! I have learned my lesson - if you need a phone, you need a spare battery (or three)/ Also, if you need to take it for replair you want to be able to take your content out in the shop, and bring it home. And preferably be able to insert the card (and SIM) into another phone, probably of a different brand. We have had phones before, and are not like the people who bought the first iPhone.

HTC is part of Via (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783159)

I was rather surprised to hear that HTC is actually part of Via, and here I was thinking Via only produced crap.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VIA_Technologies [wikipedia.org]

First!! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783169)

Also, I want a Nokia with Android.

Re:First!! (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#41783371)

Also, I want a Nokia with Android.

Would it be faster?

Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about 2 years ago | (#41783187)

Really? Last numbers I saw put the iPhone ahead of Android. Anyone have numbers on this?

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about 2 years ago | (#41783331)

iPhone is the most popular smartphone. However, iOS only runs on that phone, and Android runs on everything else.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41783417)

Not to mention there are lots of (relatively) low-end Android phones - a space Apple refuses to compete in. You can now get non-subsidized Android phones for under $100.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783539)

Yeah, and the iPhone 4S now costs $99,-
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone4s

And more, the iPhone 4 you can get for free:
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone4

Apple has a now rather long story of selling previous models for way low price.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783641)

True, but those are subsidized prices. If you are a pay-as-you-go user, you'll pay a lot more. Can't find the cite at the moment, but I've ready that non-contract phone users are the fastest growing segment.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783657)

Those are subsidized. you would need to pay over 300 without a contract.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (1)

Stalks (802193) | about 2 years ago | (#41783723)

Do you not understand what non-subsidized means?

You just compared an Android sub-$100 phone to an iPhone for $2475 ($99 + $2376 contract)....

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783821)

And you can't compare a $100 Android without factoring in service as well, prepay or not.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784277)

https://www.virginmobileusa.com/shop/cell-phones/chaser-phone/features/

$60 + ($35/month for 2 years) = $1740.

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783339)

Android expanded its dominance of the global smartphone market last quarter and accounted for 68% of all smartphones shipped in Q2 2012, according to IDC

http://bgr.com/2012/08/08/q2-2012-smartphone-market-share-idc/

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41783597)

Really? Last numbers I saw put the iPhone ahead of Android.

Was that in 2008?

Re:Android is the most popular mobile OS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783711)

Really? Last numbers I saw put the iPhone ahead of Android. Anyone have numbers on this?

That is very correct, fellow iCitizen. HTC made the mistake of not spreading the glory of His Holy Turtleneckiness and failed to produce Apple products, which will be their downfall. But, of course, only Apple is allowed to produce Apple products, and since HTC is not Apple, they may not make Apple products. Therefore, they were doomed from the beginning, as it was decreed in iScripture, and should never have entered in a pact with the Green Beast, the destroyer of peace and bringer of the darkness of competition.

Though in all seriousness, the iPhone pulls ahead of specific Android phones. Like, that one single model sells better than each individual model, counted separately, that Samsung makes. Collectively, the total of all Android phones sold by all manufacturers beat the pants off of the iPhone's sales. Problem being for Apple, only one set of devices runs iOS, and thus only one set of devices is in their ecosystem. Despite FUD, on the whole, all Android apps will run on all Android phones (unless you're either doing native code on a specific processor architecture (rare), or unless you're just a dick that doesn't know how to make Android apps). Meaning there's a far larger market for devices that will run Android apps than for iOS apps.

Apple's been through this before. I'd venture a guess that the older PowerPC Macs sold more than any individual model of PC that Dell, Gateway, HP, etc etc made. But all those PCs together sold far more than the one uncooperative company and they could run the same programs and could be coded the same way, leaving Macs as the special case that nobody cared about. And we saw how that worked out for Apple. They were about to go bankrupt before Steve Jobs pulled their asses out of the fire.

So, "the iPhone sells better than [specific Android phone model X]" doesn't mean a thing. Apple knows that, and they're scared out of their wits long-term.

Don't forget Meego (3, Insightful)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 years ago | (#41783205)

Nokia is still limping along with Meego remnants, (and did that team kick-ass to deliver the N9 on-time, just before they were fired). There must still be some semblance of a paper trail left! Do not forget Meego! (the other OS).

Godspeed Jolla!

bad designs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783217)

Htc one x could of been a contender to the galaxy s3 if they didn't go full retard on design and put a non removable battery and no expandable memory on their flagship phone. I guess they thought trying to copy an iPhone's flaws was the right decision. That and dont they have locked bootloaders?

Re:bad designs (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#41783297)

That and dont they have locked bootloaders?

Yes, though there's an official method available to unlock it for most devices.

Re:bad designs (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 2 years ago | (#41783389)

I've got a one x and it's a fantastic phone. Most people don't care about adding memory as it has 32mb which is really enough. The battery i@ a bad idea but then my last HTC's battery is going strong 2.5 years on.

Re:bad designs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783509)

I sure the fuck hope it's more than 32 MB... that would be the worst available...

I'm absolutely certain you meant 32 GB ...

Re:bad designs (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#41783419)

You can unlock all HTC bootloaders - officially, there is a website by HTC dedicated to this.

Not so bad (1)

dunng808 (448849) | about 2 years ago | (#41783565)

I love my HTC One. For many years now, when my cell phone battery goes bad I cannot find one from qualified sources, and the made-in-China crap available on eBay doesn't last a month. Besides, the phone tech is soo outdated I want a new phone, and my provider's plan "forces" the upgrade to be almost free. As in beer, anyway. The One has more memory than I'll ever use, and I have it automatically uploading to Google and DropBox so if I have to delete photos I already have them saved in multiple places.

One reason I chose HTC was their support for professional cycling. [highroadsports.com] So I was a bit pissed when they dropped the team. Now that the sport is eating its tail (I refer to the Lance Armstrong debacle) it will be even harder to get major corporations to sponsor teams. Most recent example: Rabobank, [go.com] not only a team sponsor but a major sponsor of the Tour of California. [amgentouro...fornia.com] Their guy won this year, and now the team is gone. Sad.

Re:bad designs (1)

shugah (881805) | about 2 years ago | (#41783803)

Could HAVE

Re:bad designs (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about 2 years ago | (#41783997)

Htc one x could of been a contender to the galaxy s3 if they didn't go full retard on design and put a non removable battery and no expandable memory on their flagship phone.

I don't care for either, but opted for the better screen, camera and a thinner but way stronger case at a lower price. HTC is simply outmarketeered.

Keyboard (4, Informative)

zenyu (248067) | about 2 years ago | (#41783223)

I stopped paying attention to HTC the day they declared they wouldn't make any more phones with keyboards. That was what they had over Samsung and Motorolla. Now they are just make the same kind of phones with lesser build quality.

Re:Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783699)

I bought an HTC Desire Z because of the full keyboard. I even got a SIM-only contract and bought the phone myself to get it.

Re:Keyboard (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41784057)

They had some great keyboards, too. The Touch Pro 2 (from the days of WinMo) had one of the best keyboards I'd even seen on a smartphone, if not *the* best. They produced a Windows Phone 7 model on the same basic chassis, and I think an Android phone too, but those were both some time back.

HTC made great qwerty phones. (4, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#41783253)

That could and should have been *their thing*. If they are just making the same type of phone as everyone else, may as well buy a Samsung.

Re:HTC made great qwerty phones. (1)

Electrawn (321224) | about 2 years ago | (#41783313)

Exactly. I don't want a touch phone, I want a slider keyboard phone. HTC made great ones and now I can't find any.

Re:HTC made great qwerty phones. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41783579)

Exactly. I don't want a touch phone, I want a slider keyboard phone. HTC made great ones and now I can't find any.

I just picked up a refurbished Droid 3 from eBay for $199. Decent.

Exactly this (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#41783735)

At the time I was phone shopping last year, there were no keyboard-phones that had specs near the GS2. The evo3d came out awhile later but 3d on a phone isn't really a killer feature.
The GS2 is reliable, and hackable. Without competitors offering something to differentiate, I went with Samsung.

HAD HTC offered a competitively powerful phone with extra functionality (like a keyboard), I would have gone for that.
Hopefully they'll pull through and survive to the next lineup. I'd still like to see a keyboard phone for the next gen.

Good? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 2 years ago | (#41783279)

New players enter the market, change the landscape, the old players adapt or die. Isn't this how it's supposed to work?

That reminds me, the ol' HTC Touch Pro is due for retirement soon...

HTC underestimated geeks. (4, Insightful)

Thantik (1207112) | about 2 years ago | (#41783367)

HTC seriously underestimated the power of their Android enthusiasts. They went the direction of Moto and started locking everything down. Every Android enthusiast before that point went around telling _everyone else_ to get an HTC. Once they screwed that vocal minority, everyone started pushing Samsung. Samsung doesn't cryptographically sign their bootloaders, meaning they can be unlocked without some big-brother style registration. This means Android enthusiasts push Samsung now.

Never underestimate the power of an enthusiastic geek.

Re:HTC underestimated geeks. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783581)

Alternative model of causality: Samsung advertises several times as much as HTC.

Re:HTC underestimated geeks. (2)

_avs_007 (459738) | about 2 years ago | (#41783621)

exactly! I had HTC phones before and loved them, and recommended them to all my friends. I currently have an HTC One X... While I like the phone, the hoops I had to jump through to unlock the bootloader was crazy. And if I ever have to replace my phone, it will most likely come with the updated ROM and hBOOT so that you can't unlock the bootloader. (You have to root first to be able to unlock bootloader. The OTA doesn't have a root exploit, so unless you already unlocked the bootloader, you can't root. So now I am certain that if this phone ever goes kaput, my next phone will be a Samsung, unless the Nexus 4 has LTE, which I heard doesn't... So now I push Samsung with all my friends, instead of HTC. So as a result, a bunch of my friends have Samsung phones now.

Re:HTC underestimated geeks. (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#41784011)

Yes, you are correct. I have personally advised people to buy Samsung phones and won hard supporters of the iPhone after the people understood that even Apple is just buying old parts from Samsung and selling them in an overpriced package.

Re:HTC underestimated geeks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784201)

EXACTLTY!!!

I was an HTC Fanatic till they started locking down their bootloaders renderring the phones USELESS for power users like me...
Ever since then i advice everyone to stay away from it.

Pricing Power (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41783393)

A lot of business writing is poor, but Michael Porter is the exception to the rule – and I think his 5 force analysis comes into play here.

Basically, HTC is in a highly completive market with low barriers to entry. It’s hard to make their phone unique – anybody can use Android – so basically they are in a commodity market where they have to compete on price. (and by price I mean value. Honda and Toyota thrived for years offering basic, commodity cars. Nothing exciting but they did give you value for your money.)

On the other hand, Nokia offers the best Windows 8 phone. If you like that OS you almost have to go with Nokia. Gives them a little pricing power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_five_forces_analysis [wikipedia.org]

Re:Pricing Power (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41783499)

That would be true if they weren't all in the same market. All smartphones are competing for the very same users to accomplish the very same purposes. A different OS certainly differentiates your product, but does not make it necessarily better, or more desirable, or even different enough. For all purpose sliding keyboards would be much more significant differentiation factor between HTC and Samsung than a different OS, just to give an example.

Re:Pricing Power (2)

iserlohn (49556) | about 2 years ago | (#41783725)

That's all good and whatnot, apart from the fact that HTC also makes Windows phones... And so does Samsung, LG and Nokia... So that argument gets blown out of the water as well...

Re:Pricing Power (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41783985)

Fredprado: The number of items that HTC can differentiate itself is small, and those points are basically hardware.

For example, Sliding Keyboards. People loved their BlackBerry because it had an excellent physical keyboard – but it’s not much of a moat. Anybody could do sliding keyboards. Heck, Apple could do sliding keyboards if they wanted to.

I am going to argue that the OS is different. Anybody can use Android – there is no moat. I understand Microsoft is a bit picker. iOS, of course, is just Apple. I know people who have an extensive collection of IPhone apps. It would take a lot for them to switch to an android phone. I know a person who really likes the tiles on the windows phones. His choices are limited. We have a little stickiness here.

So, if the difference is basically hardware, people can switch with low cost. If HTC does not have the best hardware for value then it’s fall with be as it’s rapid rise.

As for Iserlohn, I have heard that the Nokia 920 was, by far, the best Windows phone out there – and that they had a 6 month to 1 year lead over everybody else. Am I wrong here? (I am getting my information second hand.)

Great (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783413)

More Apple ads and FUD disguised as news.

Thank you Mr. Shill. Can I have some more!

Failing To Recognize User Needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783435)

I used to love HTC phones and sought them out as well-built and designed devices. I really wanted a One X, but their insistence on selling it without a removable battery or expandable memory was a turn-off. Same thing with the new Google Nexus phone coming out next week. I want a new phone. I want an android phone. I don't want a sealed, non-expandable black box. If I wanted that, I'd buy from Apple. At least with them, I can get a really good warranty and support program.

Re:Failing To Recognize User Needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783989)

You are spot on
  and to make matters worse - when you compare the phones Samsung versus HTC - (well the last time I did that) Samsung phones not only let u swap in fresh batteries BUT the batteries were bigger - - even if not by much - thats a HUGE advantage in my book - and then no memory card slot - its a definate NO

The problem with using a commodity OS... (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 2 years ago | (#41783437)

is that you end up trying to differentiate primarily in hardware or price. You're limited as to what you can do on the hardware side by an OS you don't control. There can only be so many successful players in a market like that.

Re:The problem with using a commodity OS... (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#41783595)

The problem with using a commodity OS is that you do not get much, if any, slack when you start doing stupid things. HTC's stupid things were locking bootloaders, getting rid of replaceable batteries, and getting rid of microSD slots.

This resulted in everyone knowledgeable, who previously recommended HTC devices to everyone, dropping them like a bad habit and instead recommending Samsung.

Re:The problem with using a commodity OS... (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 2 years ago | (#41783743)

The problem with using a commodity OS is that you do not get much, if any, slack when you start doing stupid things. HTC's stupid things were locking bootloaders, getting rid of replaceable batteries, and getting rid of microSD slots.

This resulted in everyone knowledgeable, who previously recommended HTC devices to everyone, dropping them like a bad habit and instead recommending Samsung.

Among geeks perhaps, but the vast majority of market doesn't care much about that stuff if at all. They'd rather replace their phone every few years than worry about the battery and they have no concept of what a bootloader is.

Re:The problem with using a commodity OS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784105)

Among geeks perhaps, but the vast majority of market doesn't care much about that stuff if at all.

But when Joe Sixpack wants a new phone, he probably asks Cousin Nerd which one he should get.

Re:The problem with using a commodity OS... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41783721)

yes.. you actually have to compete on quality and features instead of artificial lock in.

Re:The problem with using a commodity OS... (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 2 years ago | (#41783801)

yes.. you actually have to compete on quality and features instead of artificial lock in.

What lock in? I know lots of people that have gone back and forth between an iPhone and various Android phones.

All I'm saying is that it's a lot harder to compete on features when you've tied yourself to the same OS that most of the rest of the market is using.

Traumatized Thunderbolt Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783455)

People made true on their promise to never own another HTC phone, after the ongoing disaster with the Thunderbolt... still no official ICS, and it's well into JB time!

I would have already bought a HTC One X if only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783491)

I would have already bought a HTC One X if only it had an SDCard slot. This is the number one reason I am still using my old Nexus One phone with a 32GB SDcard. Reason number two was the non-removable battery.

I suspect they did this because they thought "Cloud storage" would be good enough.

I work for a major "Cloud storage" provider, which is exactly why I don't want my data out on the cloud. You should be able to read between the lines to figure out what I'm trying to say here.

Re:I would have already bought a HTC One X if only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783795)

I suspect they did this because they thought "Cloud storage" would be good enough.

I work for a major "Cloud storage" provider, which is exactly why I don't want my data out on the cloud. You should be able to read between the lines to figure out what I'm trying to say here.

Plus, AT&T will eventually kick everyone off of the unlimited plans... I got escalated to 3 levels of management, until they said I reached the top level of customer facing management. They told me that simply connecting your phone to a TV with HDMI out is considered tethering!!! They also said simply streaming LOCAL video to your TV with DLNA over wifi is also considered tethering!!! I argued with them for like 5 hours over several phone conversations. (All of which I recorded). I pointed out I only used 3 gigs of data this billing cycle, and they told me they don't care how much data I used, tethering is tethering. Now had I actually tethered and got caught, I would have no problems, but I actually never tethered my phone. I got them to admit that their backend software is 100% bug free, and that their system can 100% detect "tethering". They told me that their system can detect when I use DLNA, when I connect HDMI, etc.While I doubt that is true, when I asked them to show me evidence that I "tethered" they refused, and said that it proprietary information. They told me I have no recourse, as their system is 100% bug free, and is 100% reliable, and 100% accurate. When I pointed out that if I use wifi/DLNA to stream content to my TV, there is ZERO data going on AT&T's mobile network. They said they didn't care, and that was irrelvant. They said that is still tethering. At one point they told me that even if I was right, they reserve the right to modify my plan without my consent without explanation, at any time.

Re:I would have already bought a HTC One X if only (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41784053)

I argued with them for like 5 hours over several phone conversations. (All of which I recorded).

You need a life, a job and a girlfriend (in more or less that order).

The OS doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783561)

This is what Microsoft has failed to realize, and what Samsung and Apple have capitalized on.

They don't sell the OS, and they don't sell the company brand name. iOS updates aren't even tied to hardware announcements anymore. Samsung never even mentions Android or Google in their Galaxy S3 ads. They barely mention the name "Samsung".

They sell the device itself. When the average person walks into a store or clicks through a new contract online, they're looking to buy the new iPhone, not an iOS device or an Apple device, they want an "iPhone". /. of course, in its geeky obsessery over software and pastime of using microsoft as a punching bag, usually misses this. But HTC and Microsoft has missed it as well. No one's going to ask for a "One X" because what the heck is that? No one wants a "Windows 8", because who cares about the OS anymore besides nerds? If Nokia and HTC and Microsoft want to get back into the game they need to start highlighting and marketing their devices. They need to make people want a Lumia, or a new Surface, or a new... a new device brand name altogether for HTC.

Just like people don't buy a Ford, they buy a Mustang, people also don't buy an Apple or a Microsoft. They buy an Ipad or a Nexus 7.

Okay...so what's the bottom line? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41783655)

Losing volume is bad and all, but what effect is this actually having on their profits? When the numbers were reported last quarter, it was estimated that Apple was bringing in 77% of smartphone profits, Samsung had 22%, HTC had 1%, and the rest were in the red with a net loss. If HTC is still profitable then they may very well still be in a better position than some of their competitors who have been losing money hand over fist despite (and in some cases because of) shipping more units.

Note: I'm not defending them or suggesting they're profitable. I'm simply turning the discussion from volume to profit.

Just one point. (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about 2 years ago | (#41783669)

If something declines by -43%, you're counting up, not down.

Fast + Carriers (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#41783703)

What is killing HTC is that:

1) They did not get their flagship devices out fast enough.
2) Their high-end devices are not on enough USA carriers.
3) They didn't advertise enough.

They make really good phones both in the past and present. Samsung is just railroading them by getting their high end model on almost all the carriers and then absolutely blanketing the market with effective advertising.

bummer (2)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about 2 years ago | (#41783705)

I will be seriously disappointed in consumerism in general if HTC shuts down, they do really solid and impressive hardware, and make outstanding changes to Android to make it more effective and more accessible. People go look at their stuff, it's seriously competitive with Samsung's stuff, and it's better supported after release.

Android and HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783715)

I have a Samsung Galaxy NOTE 1. I went to that from an HTC phone - and the reason I chose a samsung was the Battery life.
          I have a Toshiba AT330 - an AWESOME device with Incredible battery life - and a Sony S Tablet - with Quite adequate battery life.

A few times I have looked at HTC's but the battery is always smaller than the other phones - and for me - whiles there are other must haves (memory card slot, good camera, FM radio) a better battery is compelling.
    I cant say why others dont buy HTC - but thats why I moved off them.

Carrier and handset switch ... (1)

BulletMagnet (600525) | about 2 years ago | (#41783717)

Our company is moving from Sprint to AT&T and we looked at both flagship Android phones (the One X and the S3) ... it was pretty simple - Samsung makes a better phone for our needs: The whole non-user-replaceable battery deal (a first for HTC in this gen of phones) is beyond Apple-lame...why clone that feature? For the amount of use we put into our units, batteries need to be replaced...I already have an extended run battery in mine... Lack of SD card. Portable is better, but I've heard AT&T was the driver on the lack of SD card slot the One X (since the Sprint variant does have one) ... but they let/wanted the Galaxy to have it?

HTC rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41783781)

At least that is what I thought until I had to suffer with the thunderbolt. What a piece of crap. I will never buy another HTC again and have been actively steering people away from then for well over a year now.

Good (4, Informative)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 years ago | (#41783925)

It serves HTC right. Hopefully they OneX taught them a lesson, and next year's models will have batteries that end users can swap/upgrade, microSD sockets, and real two-stage camera buttons.

Seriously. Name one single thing that makes the HTC OneX a better phone than the Galaxy S3. Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. If HTC had given it a two-stage camera button, or even any dedicated camera shutter button AT ALL, at least some people would have been left wringing their hands and agonizing between it and the S3. They didn't, so that's one opportunity to differentiate themselves for roughly 17 cents that HTC squandered.

The OneX has a sealed battery. Right there, they've instantly written off anyone who won't buy a phone that can't be used with a 2800mAH+ battery, and anybody who expects to be able to swap batteries at will. The Galaxy S3 allows you to do both. The OneX allows you to do neither. Strike two.

The OneX doesn't have a microSD card. The Galaxy S3 does. Once again, for the price of something that costs about 12 cents in HTC quantities, they blew it with a large segment of the Android market who won't even give a phone that lacks microSD expansion capabilities a second look.

Let's not forget HTC's nasty habit of releasing monolithic kernels that can't be built from source because the proprietary bits were just ripped out before they shat the source onto the curb and said "here it is". Samsung cleanly separates out their proprietary kernel code as proper loadable kernel modules, just like god and Linus intended. However, I'll only count this as a half-strike against HTC, because historically, they DO at least tend to release new kernels in half the time (or less) that it takes Samsung to release new loadable kernel modules for new kernels. This is a prime example of an area where HTC could spank Samsung... if they were to commit to separating out all of their proprietary bits as proper loadable kernel modules and released automated builds more or less immediately upon getting their hands on Google's new source (and in a "rapidly timely manner" if changes had to be made to fix problems with the automated builds), they'd have a HUGE competitive advantage over Samsung in this regard. They could just release them as unsupported early-access betas, and treat the users at XDA like a vast unpaid QA program.

It's not like HTC is uncreative. The Evo 3D had a very cool & compelling feature. It might not have been all that useful in daily life, but it was definitely a cool feature to have. I know lots of people who didn't really USE it, but I know of very few who genuinely wished their phone didn't have that feature at all. Most of the complaints about it were due to some of the hardware design compromises that were made to keep the cost down by limiting the resolution and bitrate at which you could capture in stereo.

Anyway, the point is that HTC decided to rest on its laurels and release a phone that doesn't suck, but doesn't really do anything BETTER than the Galaxy S3 does. It's basically the same price, targets the same market, and offers nothing to let its owners stand in front of a group of S3 owners and proudly say, "My phone does ______ better than yours does." In the Apple universe, annual incremental upgrades are doled out as the norm, and users applaud politely & line up to buy this year's refinement. In the Android universe, you have to either knock people's socks off and delight buyers every single year, or be content to sell phones that are basically 'free' no-name commodities.

Lest anybody accuse me of being a Samsung fanboy, I'll be the first to say that I *want* HTC to make phones that beat the crap out of Samsung's, because then Samsung will turn around and try harder to make phones that beat the crap out of HTC's. Then I want Google to use Motorola as its bully pulpit to pull the rug out from under both, and raise the hardware stakes even higher with phones that have unlocked bootloaders & make Samsung's and HTC's flagship models look like antiques, the same way the Nexus One did to the phones that came before it.

declined by -43% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784099)

If they "declined by -43%", doesn't that mean they gained by +43%?

My last 4 phones had been HTC (1)

Shemmie (909181) | about 2 years ago | (#41784175)

From the Windows Mobile, generic brand days of the HTC Universal (T-Mobile MDA Pro), HTC Advantage (T-Mobile Ameo - 5 inch touch-screen device with a built-in 1.8 inch hard-drive), HTC Touch Dual, and then I moved to Android with them - onto the HTC Desire HD.

All have been great phones in their way (Except the Ameo, which was a lousy phone, but an awesome smartphone in a pre-smartphone world) - and I loved my first step into Android with the Desire HD - a proper flag-ship phone for them, at the time of launch.

But the generic shite they've been releasing recently, with zero innovation, zero risk - it's been cookie-cutter Android phones.

HTC has become a short way of saying 3.7 inch - 4.8 inch touch screen with so-so camera, so-so processor, so-so RAM, no replaceable battery, and no expandable storage. There's nothing really 'wrong' with them, but they're lacking something interesting. For a company that thought "Hey, there might be a market for a 5 inch Windows Mobile 5.0 device wrapped in leather, 2 inches thick, that can only be used as a phone with a Bluetooth headset, with a magnetic bolt-on keyboard" and took the risk to create it in 2007, they've become a risk-averse generic Android manufacturer.

Which is why my new phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - my first ever Samsung device. It it provides something unique. HTC is no longer unique. They're the beige box of the Android world, currently. I hope they recover - but it's looking unlikely.

a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784321)

I've been a fan of their phones since I picked up their Droid Incredible a few years back. When that died it was replaced with the HTC Rezound. Their interface tends to be better than what other manufactures ruin android with. Plus great feature sets, very solid build quality and a good form factor. I hope they turn around, and not at the expense of their phone quality.

The only other phone that's piqued my interest is the Motorola Droid M, but I already have a phone I like.

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