HTC has just recorded one of its lowest quarterly profits ever – a relatively meagre $2.85 million in January-March 2013. Profits were projected at $15.6 million, which in retrospect was quite a bit off the mark, and analysts have pointed their fingers at several faults and shortcomings to account for this.
It can be said the descent started from the moment HTC lost Android’s king of the hill spot to Samsung; while the latter was busy promoting its Galaxy range to battle Apple’s iPhone monster, HTC ignored the imminent shift in the consumer buying trend and continued to give excessive importance to the low-mid range smartphone market. HTC’s Wildfire and Desire ranges were some of the most successful ventures in the Android world, but it also started losing its image as an innovative brand.
That’s when it decided to inject some more hip and glamour through the One-* range. The One S and the One V were praised by the tech community and helped HTC to regain some of its customers. The hitch however lay in the fact that its kingpin mobile phone, the One X, failed to impress the target audience, which was busy being wooed by Samsung’s Galaxy S3. Rather than failing to produce a top-notch phone, the blame this time lay in HTC’s lacklustre marketing of the One X – while Samsung was organizing its own mini national festival for its S3, HTC relied on tech-reviewing websites to do its advertising.
HTC’s last hopes lay in its newest HTC One, which has been critically acclaimed as “the best Android phone yet”, trumping the likes of the upcoming Galaxy S4. But like a wayward child, HTC once again managed to spoil its imminent moment of glory by failing to deliver its jewel on time – it had promised that by the end of March, the HTC One would be available in 80 different countries.
At the time of writing, only 3 countries have officially received stocks of the One, hence its slashed and torn quarterly outcome. This delay has been attributed to shortage of camera components, which utilize the much-awaited “Ultrapixel” technology on which HTC is placing its last bets.
HTC is also set on unveiling its new First, which will be the only phone running the novel Facebook Home OS. Unfortunately, a phone aimed at Facebook aficionados is certainly not the last straw at which HTC can clutch, and if it cannot get its act together by the end of this month, it will certainly lose its “quiet brilliance”.