HTC's 2014 plan for success includes a wearable device, updated One, and renewed marketing

HTC's 2014 plan for success includes a wearable device, updated One, and renewed marketing

Summary: HTC has had a tough couple of years and 2014 will be a defining year for them. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang recently shared some of their plans to turn things around in 2014.

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HTC 2014 plan for success includes a wearable device, updated One, and renewed marketing
(Image: HTC)

I just wrote about my year with the HTC One and expressed my disappointment in continued financial problems for HTC. According to Bloomberg, statements made by HTC chairwoman Cher Wang indicate HTC's plan for turning things around include a wearable device, updated One model, and a renewed focus on marketing.

Wearable device

Ms. Wang stated that their wearable device would be available in time for the winter 2014 holiday season so there are plenty of ways the market could change before we see their device. We don't know if it will be a watch, activity tracker, smartphone companion, are even a set of HTC glasses.

HTC makes some fantastic hardware and I am excited to see what they can do in the wearable space. I know at previous HTC Frequencies events we talked with them about wearable technology so they have been thinking about this for years. I am not too worried about the hardware, but it's the ecosystem that will be important.

HTC could, and probably should, use existing activity ecosystems if they are launching an activity tracker. They could collect data and work with the rather open Fitbit or Jawbone UP systems and s a user of both I would love to see that. I don't think it will help to lock people into an HTC-only ecosystem.

Updated HTC One

It comes as no surprise that there will be an updated HTC One, with leaks and rumors heating up this week. There is talk that we could see this announced a early as this month. As you know I love the HTC One and can't wait to see the next iteration.

Renewed marketing efforts

HTC signed up Robert Downey Jr. for a ton of money to be a part of a rather strange Here's To Change campaign. I think many had fun coming up with ways to use the letters HTC, but we didn't see much success in selling HTC Ones and showing off HTC's innovations.

Apple and Samsung have powerful marketing teams and demonstrate success in the smartphone space. Hopefully HTC can come up with a plan to at least get people talking about them again, but there is additional competition from companies like Nokia, LG, Google, and others.

Ms. Wang also made a clear statement about the possibility of an HTC buyout, stating, "“I haven’t been approached. I think they didn’t approach me because I think they know me and they know I am not going to sell.”

Given such a strong statement it looks like the fate of HTC is up to HTC alone and 2014 will be a pivotal year for the company. With the possibility that Apple may enter the wearable market, they will have an updated iPhone, and a marketing machine that can't be touched it is definitely going to a steep hill to climb for HTC. Do you think these three strategies will change things around for HTC?

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Topics: Mobility, Android, HTC, Smartphones

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11 comments
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  • We might as well read HTC's obituary

    "Given such a strong statement it looks like the fate of HTC is up to HTC alone and 2014 will be a pivotal year for the company. With the possibility that Apple may enter the wearable market, they will have an updated iPhone, and a marketing machine that can't be touched it is definitely going to a steep hill to climb for HTC. Do you think these three strategies will change things around for HTC?"

    Err .... nope! Business is all about creating value. Android is all about decreasing value. The two are at odds. The UNIX community embraced Linux, which like a cancer, has eaten away the value of that ecosystem, so that it is a shrinking shell of what it used to be. Android is doing the same to HTC and others, and none of these guys seem to have the wits to see what is happening to them.
    P. Douglas
    • A problem with your post

      Half of the current generation phones offered by HTC are running Windows, so how did you determine HTC's problem is Android?
      anothercanuck
      • HTC is focused mostly on Android

        Most HTC's smartphone efforts are around Android. So if the Android portion of their operation sinks, it is likely that the whole company will sink.
        P. Douglas
    • Oh, and I must add:

      Your comment "The UNIX community embraced Linux"

      Selective memory? SCO v Linux ring a bell?

      Novell embraced both Unix and Linux, and it was saved from the SCO's fate, and I would say Redhat would disagree that their market is a shrinking shell.
      anothercanuck
      • Liberalism in the computing world

        Linux did several things. It first wiped out lower end UNIX vendors, including SCO. Next, it wiped out a number of vendors that tried to embrace it over UNIX. Remember Sun? Other companies ditched it. E.g. I see no mention on Novell's web site, of Linux. All I see are proprietary products and services. IBM was not able to make money on Linux on x86 systems, and ditched that portion of their operations. I can't imagine Dell, HP and others make much money from Linux systems. The UNIX / Linux ecosystem makes a fraction of the money it once did. Many jobs have been lost. And still to this day, vendors embrace Linux as a kind of political correctness, ignoring the fact that it makes them less differentiated, and hence less able to make money from their products.
        P. Douglas
        • You didn't look very hard.

          SCO committed suicide trying to wipe out Linux.
          Novell owns SUSE Enterprise Linux and all the Novell products (GroupWise, ZenWorks, etc.) run on it.
          Sun still exists, but it has been bought and sold many times by bigger companies. How is that Linux's fault?

          Dell sells about 25-35% of its server with pre-installed enterprise Linux.
          HP also sells servers with Linux. Customers need only request Linux.

          Unix was declining before Linux came along, because in the 80's and early 90's, Microsoft allowed their software to be pirated so they could build a market presence. Once companies were hooked on unlicensed copies of Word and Excel, MS closed in for kill.
          anothercanuck
          • And to finish:

            IBM's Jeopardy champ runs Linux, and they are just completing porting KVM to their Power line on Linux.

            As for job loses, I don't think so. Linux is global, and has created many jobs around the world. Maybe some have left America, but that is happening in virtually every sector of business, and has nothing to do with Linux.
            anothercanuck
  • renewed marking is a good ideal

    I don't know if wearable tech is
    DontUseGoogleAtAll
  • Making Zillions.

    The contrast between the top dogs is interesting. Microsoft used unscrupulous monopolistic power, FUD and lock-in. Apple is a master of propaganda and convinced a generation of Fanbois that there was something magic about the quality of their products and that it is cool to be led around a walled garden with a ring through your nose. Google and FaceBook exploited brilliant software advances. HTC simply made the best phone, but failed by over-estimating the ability of the public to see past their competitors' spin.
    paleoflatus
    • Making a great product is...

      ...just the start of running a good business. The tech landscape is full of superior products that died the way of the dinosaur due to poor business acumen.
      casualsuede
  • Every year is the same tag line about marketing.

    Htc every year claims marketing is to blame and every year vows to refocus on it. Then every year they throw good money after bad.

    They need to fire everyone associated with any htc marketing and hire real marketers (and please don't hire Microsoft people). They have not had a decent campaign since the YOU campaign.
    casualsuede