HTC has announced its Q3 results showing a net profit of USD $133 million. To put that in perspective, its Q2 profits were USD $273 whilst 2011 Q3 profits topped USD $625 million giving it a year-on-year decline of nearly 80%. Should anyone be surprised by these figures?
I sure as hell am not, HTC have been churning out the same identikit crapware Android handsets with mediocre battery life for the last few years now and in a market crowded with other identikit bland, faceless Android handsets, HTC have no discerning value proposition.
For example, take one of their supposedly “flagship” models, the HTC One X; what a piece of totally uninspired shit this is. A battery that can barely make it through a day coupled with the same feeble design that HTC have been punting on all their android handsets, one so utterly humdrum and tedious that you wouldn’t give it a second glance even if HTC painted a pair of boobs on the back.
Samsung has exactly the same problem with their tiresome range of Galaxy handsets whilst Motorola at least attempts to offer differentiation with premium materials and a killer battery. Put the HTC next to any other HTC Android and you wouldn’t know which is which. And therein lies the problem.
Now I like HTC, they single-handedly developed the old Windows Mobile market with a fabulous range of diverse and fully featured mobiles. Their old HTC HD2 is still one of the best handsets available, capable of running Windows Mobile, Android and even the newer Windows Phone with dual boot. Their HTC Sense software is ultra slick and streets ahead of Samsung’s TouchWiz which in comparison seems to have been put together by someone whose last job was designing interfaces for an ICI mainframe in the 1970’s.
However, the software alone is not enough and HTC needs to do a lot better in a tough market. A good start would be to reverse the stupid decision to stop making any handsets with a proper keyboard given the serious lack of any decent BlackBerry alternatives on Android.
Next, work on the actual design. HTC mobiles have a well deserved reputation for rubbish battery life. Would it kill them to bump up the milliamps to at least 2,500? And quit making the same boring black rectangles; show some imagination and flair with materials and shapes. Put effort into making something that consumers will admire and covet.
Lastly, for goodness sake stop removing that damn hardware camera button from all your handsets, a touch screen shutter is just plain daft.