May, 22 2013


An interesting expose of sorts coming from The Verge who posted an article about HTC and the still very rocky road they have ahead of them. This, after numerous higher-level departures from within the company — the most recent being  HTC’s Chief Product Officer — show the cellphone manufacturer is once again on shaky ground and fighting, not just to keep the HTC One a success, but to keep from imploding as well.

Kouji Kodera was the man responsible for HTC’s overall product strategy and is just one of few departures the company has been faced with over the past 3 months that include HTC’s vice president of global communications, global retail marketing manager, director of digital marketing, and finally their product strategy manger who might be the most disgruntled out of the bunch, saying via his Twitter:

“To all my friends still at @HTC – just quit. leave now. it’s tough to do, but you’ll be so much happier, I swear.”

Pretty strong advice from someone who obviously had trouble with the company. While I personally know of a few HTC employees who have been scalped and now currently work for Samsung, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the above instances. These execs reportedly left for greener pastures, making to move over to big named companies like AT&T, Skype, and Microsoft — not Samsung.

Rumors of the HTC First being a complete flop (despite a few tech bloggers making it their go-to device after it was discovered to run stock Android) isn’t exactly helping matters. The device was rumored to have been discontinued after failing to meet sales expectations and while the HTC One still has a chance to be the company’s break-out hit, the well documented manufacturing delays may have kept HTC from striking while the iron was still hot.

When compared to heavy weights like Samsung who’s marketing budget outweighs HTC’s entire profits, HTC definitely has a long way to go before they can ever hope to gain that number 1 spot. The Samsung Galaxy S4 — HTC One’s biggest rival — was said to hit around 10 million in sales globally, with Korean manufacturer having little trouble keeping up with strong demand.

But it hasn’t been all bad news for HTC. The HTC One’s production is said to be in full swing, churning out arguably one of the best Android devices to date. Make no mistake, HTC has a lot riding on the One’s success. You may remember before the One launched, HTC’s own CEO Peter Chou was quoted as saying he’d step down if the One wasn’t a success. Something tells me Mr. Chou will be safe in his corner office (for now). And really, who knows. It’s entirely possible these departures could work out for the better, especially if HTC can find more talented replacements.

I guess what I’m failing to understand is whether or not a cellphone manufacturer needs to sell 10 million devices to keep from going belly up? Is it possible that an underdog like HTC could simply rest comfortably in the #3 or 4 spot? SD cards and removable batteries aside, I think we can all agree that Android needs manufactures like HTC to keep other OEM’s on their toes and continue to push smartphone design forward. Lest we end up with another Galaxy S twin.

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