Can HTC Survive in a Samsung-Dominated Android Market?

The HTC One has been a landmark device for the Taiwan-based company.  I have been using this beautifully crafted device since it was released last year, and have had no remorse about leaving the iPhone behind or because I don’t have some other flashship device.  Everything the HTC was expected to be is exactly what it has been.  I even accidentally dropped it in a stream last month for a couple seconds and the only problem that came from that was that the headphone jack doesn’t work anymore (I can live with that because of the BOOM Sound).

I have been keeping tabs on the many Android phone manufacturers and one thing remains constant… HTC is struggling.  The question is why?  Why does a company that made an amazing iPhone-quality Android phone still suffer in the Android market?  I have read many other ideas around this, but I have come to conclude that there are three main issues that affect HTC.  Even though the HTC One did well in the eyes of critics, it did not fly off the shelves like the Galaxy S4 did.  Here’s why:

Samsung’s GALAXY branding: The “ONE” Branding may be a bigger boost for Xbox than HTC.  How exactly do you create a brand with the ONE tag for a product that gets a new version every year?  Meanwhile, the top Android manufacturer, Samsung, is becoming synonymous with Android phones even more so than the Nexus line.

Blinkfeed pre Kit Kat: Android users enjoy the mass amount of customization.  Even though it was possible to make a different screen your home screen, the Blinkfeed screen was still a nuisance.  Not until Android 4.4 Kit Kat where Blinkfeed can be turned on and off AND also customized better does it really have a place on an Android phone.

Internal turmoil: The biggest problems facing HTC have been HTC itself.  Since 2011 if has been on a steady decline until recently when it seems to have bottomed-out.

HTC graph

Does HTC have what it takes to bounce back?  If they can continue to make high-quality devices, and stay afloat, then I believe that they can.  The first step is coming up with the soon to be revealed All New HTC One. We will see where this takes a company that has nowhere to go but up.

 ~JB

Comments

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Comments

  1. I should preface this comment by saying that I’m not your average smartphone user. I’m not your average Android owner. I’m into development with Android. There are no Android devices in our house that aren’t rooted or running custom software as well. It’s just kind of my thing.

    I am a huge fan of Samsung products. Mainly because of how easy they are to root and the massive amount of alternative development out for them. I own a Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s the most sturdy, reliable, and easily developed phone I have ever owned. I like the S3 and S4, but I’m not big on having to have the latest thing. Just what does the job for me.

    But HTC makes some damn good phones. The One is no exception to that. But I wouldn’t say they are exactly struggling. One of the reasons people relate Samsung to Android more than other manufacturers is because of the wide range of phones they produce. From the Galaxy line down to phones like the Discover or Centura that are found with companies like Straight Talk and Net10. They branch way far out than just the flagship phones they are known for. Even Motorola has moved out from that.

    But for those looking for top of the line performance, hardware and software, HTC knows what they are doing, and I think, in the end, will prove their worth as their flagship line grows.

    • I would agree with you on that. I am one who wants the shiniest toys over rooting and rebooting. However, I think that if HTC can stay the course in making high-end phones that have iPhone quality materials, then the market will shift in their favor. However, one of the things that got HTC into trouble was having too any phones and confusing the consumer. I used to use HTC phones back in the days before Android.

      So we will have to see what happens with the “All New HTC One (M8)” and the future direction of the company.

  2. deez says:

    Dude. Samsung puts out crap. Ever since the Samsung instinct. It’s pathetic. Force closing apps. Faulty software. Crappy hardware. Not to mention that Samsung ruins on the highest frequency. Which means it had the weakest signal of all cell phones. Let’s not forget it’s a phone above all. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to use your GPS when your lost. Samsung is terrible. From their cheap tv’s to their Crappy phones with useless watches.

    • Although my dislike of Samsung isn’t as strong as yours, I basically agree. I’ve never been happy with any of my Samsung products. None of them are terrible, but none are good. They always end up glitching on me.

    • Wow. Someone is bitter lol. I’ve never had any of those issues that you describe, and my Samsung phone is 3 years old. Maybe it’s the custom software it runs. One thing Samsung definitely doesn’t do well is their firmware. Touchwiz is absolute crap. But I run AOSP, 4.4.4, same as the newest phones. No FCs, no problem with GPS, and I get better signal on AT&T towers than people with other devices on Verizon in my same area. My phone pulls better quad scores than the stock Nexus 5 or LG G@. But i can’t say that everything Samsung makes is crap.

      But again, I’m not your average Android user. I write firmware, I make themes, mods, tweaks. So mine doesn’t exactly perform like it would have out of the box, or stock. But that’s what’s great about Android. You can take the crappiest phones and do some amazing things with them. I owned a little Samsung Discover at one point. 80 bucks on Straight Talk. After rooting and tweaking a bit, thing ran smoother than the iPhone 4 I used to have.

      But really, it’s all about what you’re looking for in a device. These days, it’s not “just a phone after all”. It’s much, MUCH more than that.

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