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Is HTC making the same mistake as it has four years back?

by Warren
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HTC is a smartphone company that has touched me ever since my first encounter with the O2 XDA II and I eventually owned my very first HTC device six years back – the HTC Diamond, and thats when I begin to start loving Windows Mobile, HTC’s TouchFLO 3D changed my perspective of the slow, sluggish and uninspiring Microsoft smartphone operating system. Fast forward to a few years later, HTC launched its first ever Android device and started evolving TouchFLO 3D to HTC Sense, which changed most parts of the future of Android and have most of its features copied to other Android smartphones. Until four years back, the company started to flopped terribly in its finances and its smartphones were challenged by Samsung, the tech journalism world thought that the company would be at the end of the road, and who would’ve known that the company would spring back to life with the introduction of the all new HTC One, the most beautiful smartphone ever made with a full metal body, a design language that almost every smartphone company has started to embrace and emphasising on every of their flagship models.

Unfortunately as of today, we are again seeing the HTC as it was four years ago, so what happened back then?

The flagship model back then was the HTC Sensation, it was the first Qualcomm dual-core smartphone and while it made quite a headline, the company continues to embrace the mid-entry level market, releasing phone models such as the Desire S, Incredible S and Rhyme, three models with a similar spec sheet with different design, the company can be seen as trying to be the Nokia of Androids, but these additional devices were unfortunately short-lived and the flagship Sensation didn’t get the attention it deserves to, the company then decided to partner with Beats Audio and integrate its sound technology onto its phones, which leads to the slow death of the original Sensation while having one additional big screen Sensation XE device to cater for the phablet market.

Now in year 2015, we are seeing HTC at the edge of crisis once again, its shares plummeted and the One M9 isn’t doing as well as its predecessor and the most terrible mistake once again happened, HTC starts releasing a plethora of models for its new flagship HTC One models, lets name them – M9, M9+, E9, E9+, A9, and now the M9e in other markets, so we literally have five extra flagships for the year, which means we are looking at a frequency of one new flagship device in two months, we haven’t even started counting the number of Desire smartphones, we are having way much more devices from the Taiwanese firm than last year, coming from a consumer standpoint, I really have no idea on which flagship I would want from HTC if I were to purchase one, because they all feel too similar to me and I don’t even know if every one of them will be supported by future software updates, and this is why the company is now repeating the same mistake again as it did four years ago, they simply do not want to learn.

While I’m in no position in commenting HTC’s marketing strategy, I do somehow perceive that the company is once again trying to learn what consumers want at the end of the day and they are not acting fast enough to the competitive market. With the recent announcement of the One A9 and the message of ‘Be Brilliant’,  I believe the company is starting to make a come back by emphasizing User Experience > Specs, which is what they have always been proud about, lets hope that HTC could release a true hero device just like how the original HTC One did, a device with a perfect marriage of hardware design and software.

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