The HTC One was meant to usher in a new, glorious age for the struggling Taiwanese mobile manufacturer, being a premium smartphone designed to topple Apple and Samsung's dominance at the high-end of the market. But despite critical acclaim, the plan has failed to turn around the company's fortunes, and so the focus shifts again to mid-range devices.
Chang Chia-Lin, HTC's CFO, has stated that the company will now turn its efforts to expanding its more affordable offerings. With the premium smartphone market shrinking, and HTC's current range ill-equipped to deliver to developing nations, the company failed to capitalise on that major growth area over the past 12 months. In China, a potentially-vast market for HTC, the company currently sells only two handsets priced close to the £100 mark -- the current sales sweet-spot there. Such oversights have lead to continuing financial struggles for HTC, with its stock price dropping 80 per cent and profits spiralling down 83 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to a year earlier.
There's clearly a managerial conflict going on at HTC at the moment. Where's the vision? The HTC One (and, for the most part, its spin-off brethren) were well-received. And while totally overlooking emerging markets was a clear oversight, this seems like a knee-jerk reaction. How can you be too focussed on quality products? Such see-sawing between directing all resources to one end of the market then another suggests a worrying power struggle at the top, and all the Robert Downey Jnrs in the world can't fix that. Don't be surprised if we see some senior heads roll soon. [The Verge]