HTC One line to get the company back in the game

HTC One line to get the company back in the game

Summary: From the top of the heap to a company reinventing itself, HTC hopes the One line of Android phones will return it to the top.

SHARE:

HTC is a company reinventing itself, and its One line of Android phones look to bring it back to the favored position it recently enjoyed. The One S is coming to T-Mobile and the One X looks to be a solid entrant for AT&T. The One X derivative for Sprint, the EVO 4G LTE, is a deserving bearer of the successful EVO name.

The troubles for HTC in the Android space can be traced to the company trying to do too much at a time. No OEM has produced more handsets than HTC the past few years, and it spread the company thin. Making strange moves like investing $300 million for Beats Audio technology didn't help either.

HTC has always produced great hardware, some of the best phones I have owned and tested come from its efforts. I still believe the original HTC EVO 4G was one of the best phones I have ever owned. Both the HTC One S and One X remind me of that original EVO, and are outstanding phones.

Matt Miller has a great review of the HTC One S from T-Mobile, and is a good place to start for those interested in that phone. It impressed Matt in his daily use, and that speaks volumes.

Both the One X and EVO 4G LTE have a big 4.7-inch display that show the utility of Ice Cream Sandwich running the lighter Sense 4.0 UI. They are nice phones for AT&T and Sprint, respectively, and may be the best Android phones currently available.

Hopefully the HTC One line will get the company back on top of its game. The HTC design is stellar, and the build quality is second to none.

If anything the situation with HTC shows how difficult it is for Google's partners in Android to play in the smartphone world. Not only do they have to warily eye the 800 pound gorilla in the space, Apple, they have to compete with each another. While HTC is blaming the success of the iPhone with its problems, it can't help that Samsung has been going great guns, too.

The very nature of business in the Android world doesn't work in HTC's favor either. While the One X and EVO 4G LTE are basically the same phone, the two carriers involved force HTC to in essence make two different models out of it. That prevents customers from identifying them as one product, and that doesn't work in HTC's favor. It also forces two different support efforts for the two similar models.

Hopefully, concentrating on a reduced product line will get HTC back in the black. The company makes great phones, and has some outstanding talent on staff. It will be great to see them climb back on top of the Android space.

Related:

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, HTC, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

7 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • good luck to them

    they have a lot of work to do
    malert
  • New phones, same attitude

    HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc... With so many quality names in Android why is it that none of these manufacturers and by extension software makers can't understand that as customers/consumers we would appreciate them more and maybe have more brand loyalty if at least one of them would remember us beyond launch..??

    Most of us have been teased by manufacturers stating "You'll have ICS by <insert date here> ..." and most have already missed their initial mark. I know it's not a priority since my sale is already accounted for, but imagine if the latest Nvidia card came out and 6 months later there were no new drivers for it.

    People should be outraged that their $700 handset reaches end of life in less than a year. Especially when those people are locked into a two or three year contract. So as nice as HTC's new lineup is. My 6 month old Rezound is looking for some love from HTC as well.
    MrSmith317
    • ^^^^^ THIS!

      +1 to you sir. Much agreed. You nailed it dude. The developers of OS's have to consider that these smartphones are effectively miniature computers that have the architecture to make phone calls (not the other way around), only needing carrier basebands to do so. This blanket collusion regarding Android between Google, OEMs, and carriers to drive mass turnover of devices before contracts expire by not updating existing handsets for at least two years after their launch is has led me to reactivate my iPhone 4. I have a Verizon-BRANDED Samsung Galaxy Nexus that I will be hocking on ebay. Android is a steaming pile in terms of there being a transparent, SYNCHRONOUS update strategy, even just for the Nexus brand. The fact that ICS came with so many now industry standard capabilities missing (like no native group SMS/MMS) is a cause for concern, as Google ignores multiple|duplicative Android issues submissions for many standard capabilities since Android's inception (see issue 1267 (FROM 2008??? C'MON GOOGLE!!!) and its successor issue 24468 at http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list).

      As for the article, I don't care if HTC has a new product. Just like you said, I care about the price I am paying (whether that be up front or subsidized via contract) and the fact that my device is effectively obsolete before I'm even 25% into my contract because software for it is not kept up to date with newer devices that are only more capable physically, but for which my device is more than capable of running the same software build they're running. Just like OEMs want a return on investment, so do customers. We aren't looking to spend our money just for mobile data access and dead-weight devices. We are paying for the privilege to have a current mobile experience. If Apple factors funding this into their more expensive, devices so that devices are going to be able to use future software, cool with me. I'm happy to pay the cost. I'm not sure what those Microsoft guys believe, but my iPhone 4 runs iOS 5 just fine, and this is based on nearly two-year old technology - THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. I won't ever buy a carrier infested device if software updates are not supplied DIRECT from the OEM like with iOS.

      For $700, you can buy a laptop, have it updated seamlessly via Windows Update (I always set mine to automatic for Microsoft-originated updates), and look, no interference by ISPs or OEMs. Not even for incremental security fixes. How 'bout that? My experience with laptops has always been that they've lasted me at least 4 years. I even have one now that I've owned since Sept. 2006 that was Vista "capable" that is being used as a Windows 8 test dummy. The only obvious problem there is non-existent drivers for that old of a unit. But for devices that aren't even 2 years old, and for most that are only a few months new, it is a spit in the consumer's face that customers do not have better support from the OEMs and that Android support is actually engine-breaked by the carriers until users patience wears thin and they opt to buy a new device at full retail. This is only going to drive more people to Apple, and, for the sake of competition, that is something I don't want to see happen. The realization of innovation can only be shared by customers if they can actually experience it as it is taking place. If they have to wait 6 months to two years to receive it on their capable devices, they will not value it when they finally do receive it because they will look up and see that at least one OS's users have long had that experience and are now using even greater functions. Only iOS ensures that, and that is a shame.
      theNewDanger
  • Smart phone doesn't cut it anymore, I need a genius phone!

    Android phones have a lot of great features, but they need basic common sense functionality. Based on recent research and experience from using both the HTC Evo for two years and several blackberry phones I've used over eight years..... None of the Android phones are well thought out or intuitive phones designed for business speed or efficiency. Things I think that need to be faster, easier, more intuitive or just more efficient include: Searching for contacts, access to contact info when you get there and what you see, storing contacts, putting in a company name for a contact, the word guesser (when holding straight up my Evo only suggests the correct word at the last letter, sideways it works better), selecting text on a page, selecting a phone number to call out of text. I want more options on programming ringer settings for totally silent operation or mixed operations that really make sense in a given setting. Quicker access to more important settings like ringers. I hate being forced to have apps on my phone and to waste my time updating them (which I know likely happens on the new bberrys). The placement of voice and other function buttons on the keyboard is horrible - I'm always hitting the back button cutting a word in half and trying to put a sentence in between. SOMEONE has to say SOMETHING to the engineers who design these things. PLEASE. HELP. MAKE THESE PHONES SMARTER.
    Nick'm
  • Wow

    just as Eugene replied I'm taken by surprise that any body able to profit $9143 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you look at this site link >>> <b>http://Gotoonlinejob.blogspot.in<b>
    HughesRicardo64
  • The new line will help...

    With the number of handsets in the last year, brand dilution was a big problem. Now that they've cut down on that, they should begin to recover. It won't be immediate, but over the next one year we should see good results.

    http://www.tech-thoughts.net/
    sameer_singh17
  • Good article

    It is true that Android OEMs have to compete with Apple and among themselves, in fact this is the single largest reason for the whole "profit share" argument.

    HTC has some great devices with the One series. However, with the Galaxy SIII due to launch, only time will tell if they can be successful.

    http://www.tech-thoughts.net/
    sameer_singh17