HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

Summary: In a smart reversal of strategy, HTC says it will decrease the number of devices it releases in 2012.

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Like most other manufacturers, HTC's Android strategy in 2011 seemed to center around flooding the market with as many different devices as possible.

Fortunately, the company seems to be coming to its senses. In an interview with Mobile magazine, Phil Roberson, executive director of HTC U.K. and Ireland, said that HTC's 2012 will look a bit different from its 2011.

"We have to get back to focusing on what made us great – amazing hardware and a great customer experience," he said. "We ended 2011 with far more products than we started out with. We tried to do too much."

Instead, HTC will focus on releasing hero products, flagship devices of higher quality like the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone. The move, while shrewd, is probably one HTC should have followed from the beginning.

As for tablets, HTC says that it won't push the devices as strongly in the coming year, though it still plans to have a hand in the market.

And HTC is not alone. At CES 2012 Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha announced a similar shift in strategy, noting that Motorola plans to slow down its smartphone release cycle in 2012.

"A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place," he said.

Ultimately, while the new strategies of HTC And Motorola will reduce the number of devices to choose from, they'll also no doubt increase the quality of the ones that are released. And that can only be a good thing for consumers.

Topics: Hardware, CXO, HTC, Mobility, Smartphones

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13 comments
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  • I called this

    Everyone is withdrawing from Android. The profits simply weren't there. Android phones are shipping in large numbers but bring the manufacturer nothing but losses. Now they aren't even shipping well with AT&T reporting that 80% of the smartphones they sold were iPhones.
    toddybottom_z
    • Post continued

      RIM? Nearly dead. Web OS? Dead. WP7? Nearly dead. Android? Dying quickly. iOS? Marching quickly towards 95% marketshare and a monopoly, just like Apple has with the iPad.

      It is a sick market. We all lose.
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

        @toddybottom_z RIM I do agree is dead unless a miracle happens with this new CEO, but Android, 10M Android tablet sold Q42011 vs 15M Ipads is coming very strong, and MS with the Nokia Partnership, I believe that between Microsoft Nokia, Google Android (bought Motorola) Apple IPhone and maybe Samsung with an open source with Intel or WEBOS (today an open source solution), we are going to see a nice fight in 2012 and the consumers are going to have a lot of options with NO Apple MONOPOLY.
        snbm73
      • Shipped vs Sold

        "10M Android tablet shipped to dusty warehouses in Q42011 vs 15M Ipads sold to consumers"

        There, I fixed that for you.

        Every single usage based statistic, every single one, puts iPad's marketshare at over 95%.

        AT&T reported that over 80% of the smartphones they shipped last quarter were iPhones.

        Android came out of the gate with some nice figures. Unfortunately, it turns out that in most cases, a consumer's first Android phone is also their last. We are seeing this now with Android's marketshare plummeting. This is a combination of Google counting Androids shipped instead of sold and people hating the few Androids that actually were sold.

        People holding on to a faint hope that Android will succeed are going based on old numbers. Every single recent number that has come out spells Android's doom.
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

        @toddybottom_z Not so sure Tobby, check this out
        "Apple shipped 15 million iPads worldwide during the fourth quarter, garnering Cupertino 58 percent share of the tablet market. But while Apple still holds the top spot, its share dropped 10 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Strategy Analytics.
        Android, meanwhile, picked up steam, capturing 39 percent share of the tablet market during the quarter, up from 29 percent a year earlier. Shipments of Android tablets tripled to 10.5 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011, up from just 3.1 million a year earlier."
        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399372,00.asp
        Kindle Fire ring the bell? and with ICS 4.0 it is going to be a tough contender.
        snbm73
      • Then they sold a lot of defective tablets

        Again, shipped vs sold. But let's pretend that every Android tablet shipped was also sold (we know every iPad tablet shipped was sold). What is wrong with these Android tablets? Why can't any of them connect to the Internet?
        http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/10/97-percent-of-tablet-internet-traffic-comes-from-ipad
        "In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S"
        toddybottom_z
      • The correct wording is shipped not sold.

        @snbm73 ... A small difference but key. Now in Apple's iPad case you can considered shipped to be sold but not so much in Android's cases.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • RE: HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

      @toddybottom_z

      According to the article, HTC is NOT withdrawing from Android. They are cutting back on the different models they have. Instead of, lets say, 25 phone models they will concentrate on, lets say, 10 models. They plan to sell as many phones, just not as many different models.
      benched42
      • I'm sure they do plan on that

        @benched42
        "They plan to sell as many phones, just not as many different models."

        My prediction is that reality will not come close to plan.
        toddybottom_z
    • RE: HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

      @toddybottom_z

      I don't know if everyone's going to withdraw from Android, but the oversaturation of both models and OEMs is likely going to change. My guess is many of the lesser known/reputable Android OEMs will cease to be Android OEMs, leaving the heavy weights, who will also got the HTC route and release less models. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the heavy weights start to hedge their bets with Windows Phone or other mobile OS's.

      Wildcard? Amazon. They have the ecosystem and a pricing model to compete. And, if they're willing to take a loss on the Fire, imagine what type of pricing they can offer on a smart phone. I know all the Android fans want to include Amazon's devices in the Android numbers, but to me, it's a different animal and a stretch at best.
      TroyMcClure
  • RE: HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

    This is great news, maybe they will actually start to update them. All the android makers have been spreading themselves too thin.
    wendellgee2
    • I agree. In their lust to capture marketshare

      @wendellgee@...
      they have placed Android on too many low end, crappy models that they are killing themselves.

      I imagine that Google may have been pushing them a bit for that route, hoping to get a greater Android marketshare, but with their purchase of Motorola, I can see more handset makers abandoning that segmanet of the market and concentrating on more profitable models.
      John Zern
    • RE: HTC plans to release fewer Android phones in 2012

      @wendellgee@...

      That's a good point. Maybe the OEMs will actually focus on their customers' experience and give them Gingerbread, ICS or whatever they're capable of running instead of forgetting about them 5 seconds after they buy the phone.
      TroyMcClure