HTC Frequencies; discovering the other 90% of the iceberg

HTC Frequencies; discovering the other 90% of the iceberg

Summary: HTC held an event last week to hold open and honest conversations with mobile enthusiasts from around the world. The discussions were engaging and extremely educational.


Earlier this month HTC posted their Q1 2012 earnings and the 70 percent fall in profits was a bit of a shock. The good news is that their HTC One Series is launching soon and indications are that it should significantly help as they move through this time of product transition. Last week, I took a couple of days off work to attend the inaugural invite-only HTC Frequencies press event in Seattle and I have to say I came away with a MUCH deeper understanding of HTC and some of their more recent strategies and design philosophies. As they say, only 10% of the iceberg is viewable and that is what consumers and mainstream media see. However, the other 90% of what goes on at HTC is what makes the company and I came away a much smarter person with knowledge that will help me write better articles. I have always liked and purchased HTC devices and now that I know more of the back story I have even more respect for the company and its employees.

Much of what we talked about was off the record and the level of trust between HTC and the 25 or so mobile bloggers and press representatives from around the world was impressive. I was extremely pleased with the candid conversations with HTC folks, including Jason Mackenzie, President of Global Sales and Marketing, Claude Zeilweger, Principal of One & Co, Bjorn Kilburn, VP of Portfolio Strategy, and Eric Lin, Manager of Product Strategy.

I now have a better understanding of the Beats Audio deal, HTC Sense 4.0, amazing work that went into the latest One Series camera, extreme attention to detail in smartphone design, and even a walk through of an HTC smartphone from an idea into a shipping product. There were no discussions on Windows Phone or Android tablets and I expect that the Windows Phone Apollo conversations are being held back until a future Frequencies event.

There are a few articles online from some of the other attendees and I recommend you read the following articles if you want to know a bit more about some of the public conversations:

In the interest of full disclosure, I took two full days of PTO from my professional engineering day job to attend the event and paid my own hotel costs so that no travel or lodging costs were paid by HTC (I live about 45 miles south of Seattle). I did enjoy meals with the other folks and HTC did hand out a set of Beats MIXR headphones so we could test Beats Audio with the international One series of devices along with an early version of the HTC Media Link HD (review coming soon) and a messenger bag.

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Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, HTC, Mobility

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  • Maybe HTC's problem is in its catchphrase?

    "Quietly Brilliant"

    Is Apple "quietly brilliant"? No. Apple makes sure the public is well aware of its "brilliance". Magical. Revolutionary.

    Clearly HTC needs to be far less quiet about its brilliance.
    • Yes, time for a new message

      Yes, it made sense to say this when they were making devices for others and as they got started with their own branding. However, they should update it to reflect their current strategy in the mobile space. "The only One you need" or something more bold. They are a pretty humble company that has a fantastic story to share.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • i agree

      Htc dropped the ball BIG time by not promoting the rezound properly. They focused ONLY on it's Beats Audio but never made consumers aware of the phone's ground breaking features: it was first to have a 720p HD display, and by not promoting this, htc let the Galaxy Nexus take credit for it. Furthermore, even though the rezound has a 4.3" screen it STILL took iphone 4s crown as having the highest ppi; at 342 it smashed iphone's 326. In fact, its still the only phone that beats the iphone 4s in that aspect but Htc didn't see the HUGE marketing potential in that. Htc gave away market share to its competitors based on thoes points alone! Not to mention the lack of promoting the phones other features like a 2meg front cam that ALSO records HD AND slow-motion video.
  • HTC: Supported from O2 until Hero. What it did not do correctly.

    I appreciate Matthew's view especially one that comes from a gadget reviewer. I would love to hear what HTC is up to when they designed the ONE X because it is exactly opposite of what I would like to have in an Android phone.

    That's the thing: consumers that do research would want to know what is your design philosophy and may even be persuaded to change minds not just for the readers but also advocate the brands amongst friends and family. HTC has neglected this.

    At the moment I am not convinced of the battery not being able to be changed by myself. I am not convinced that I cannot change my MicroSD. I am not convinced that having dropbox is a good solution even at places such as Singapore that has strong mobile broadband connections but a less than satisfactory experience accessing the web.

    In short i was put off by the HTC One X even grossly disappointed. This is a brand that prides itself for being different.

    I did not even know of the existence of the HTC Media link because it is not shown openly with the HTC One X. That's the thing that sells the One X. That's the thing that will allow me to consider not having a MicroSD card slot and changeable battery. That's the ball that was dropped. The marketing machine is not doing their job well enough to the outside world!

    Why such things happen? Is the phone or media link being launched too early so much so the bugs are not ironed out? It seems like it is a half cooked product being pushed too early and now they have to organise HTC Frequencies to right some wrong perceptions?

    P/S i won't buy the phone because I do rely on a microusb to SD/CF card slot to transfer files. The smartphone has become a mini tablet/netbook for me and I am not looking back. Such a feature is useful and is missing in the ONE-X.