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HTC Losing Ground Faster Than RIM or Nokia 280

Posted by Soulskill
from the race-to-the-bottom dept.
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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HTC Losing Ground Faster Than RIM or Nokia

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  • Keyboard (Score:5, Informative)

    by zenyu (248067) on Friday October 26, 2012 @05:25PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @05:59PM (#41783687)

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

  • Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by Miamicanes (730264) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:19PM (#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.

  • by fatphil (181876) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:22PM (#41783947) Homepage
    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.
  • by epSos-de (2741969) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:24PM (#41783969) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:34PM (#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.

  • by Emetophobe (878584) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:59PM (#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.

  • by stephanruby (542433) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:10PM (#41785049)

    It's also interesting to note that this guy implies that HTC is only an Android platform, when in fact, if you just take look at HTCs' actual home page [htc.com].

    What comes front and center of that main page is their failed HTC Windows phones and their failed 'Beats Audio' music platform, with their Android phones being relegated to the right-side menu, and completely stripped out of all Android branding, or markings (as if it had been purposefully done that way).

    So if you ask me, what's dragging down HTC is not the fact that they've stopped having replaceable battery covers, and stopped having sdcard slots, in one of their lines, it's more the fact that they've repeatedly launched and relaunched Windows Phones and 'Beats Audio' -- wasting all their efforts and money on these ventures, when in fact, they should just have focused on promoting their Android offerings with one or two focused messages (that people actually cared about).

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:56PM (#41785929)

    You've never swapped a battery in phones so you made the decision that felt right to you. Most people seem to prefer being able to swap batteries out so HTC made a decision that was bad for them and HTC. I happen to love linux but if Dell was to decide tomorrow to stop shipping windows and put linux on all their computers I think Dell would tank quickly. Just because I love linux doesn't mean squat to 98+% of the people out there.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

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