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:
- Tweets from attendees
- Android Central
- PCMag on batteries and QWERTY keyboards and the cool One X cases
- Pocket-lint on the cases and white color of smartphones
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.
Related ZDNet posts
- T-Mobile HTC One S is their best Android smartphone (hands-on gallery)
- Hands-on with the HTC One X and One S international models (review and gallery)
- HTC's Q1 2012 reports 70 percent profit drop
- The HTC EVO 4G LTE may have me changing carriers yet again
- Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2012