It’s difficult to imagine the hardships HTC is currently going through. Even after years of early dominance and being one of the pioneering companies to build the modern smartphone, it was partly acquired by Google in June 2017. A while back in 2015 it was removed from the Taiwanese Stock Exchange’s list of 50 largest firms. Even though it is still traded on the stock market, it’s clear that HTC’s days of blazing trails and blazing profits are behind it.
So what happened?
Despite leading the charge to bring smartphones to the masses over the past decade and a half, HTC has quite little to show for it. Reportedly HTC has gone from being the most valued Android device maker in the world to a shadow of its former self and relying mostly on its VR business to survive.
HTC’s rise to prominence is almost as impressive as many of the unfortunate events that have crippled the brand. The blame mostly lies in weak marketing to poor business moves, making HTC’s forecast windier and rainier every year. One can ask – is there sunshine ahead, or is this just the eye of the storm for the High Tech Computer company? Sure the HTC U11 was a great product and also the company has been involved in manufacturing the Pixel smartphones. But will it ever be a shade of its former self?
It’s hard to fathom today that HTC was named one of the most innovative companies in the world back in 2010. At the time it was also becoming one of the most valuable smartphone brands in the world, too, featuring in head to head competition with Apple in the U.S. and Europe with its flagship smartphones. HTC’s success is thanks to its trademark software called TouchFLO 3D, which was a sleek customizable home screen rather than the boring one being used in many Samsung or LG Windows phones.
Even though Windows Mobile soon died and TouchFLO 3D with it, HTC ported the software to Android and rebranded it as HTC Sense. After this started the decline owing to a mixture of mediocre business decisions and absent-minded marketing efforts which included selling of HTC’s most fruitful investment, a 51-percent stake in Beats Electronics before realizing its full potential.
The unexpected Beats sale showed just how poorly HTC had marketed its products, while next door competing for brands like Apple and Samsung dominated the marketplace with excellent marketing strategies. This can be seen in the names of some its smartphones such as Incredible, Evo, ChaCha, Salsa, Vivid, Velocity, Amaze, and Rhyme to name a few.
HTC plans to hold up its failing business via its VIVE virtual reality headset product which, again, is overpriced as compared to the Oculus Go. The U11 was breath of fresh air into the company’s misfortunes however, one single flagship device will not be enough to pull HTC back from the ground. Let’s see what the year 2018 holds for the Taiwanese smartphone maker.