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back to article HTC struggling as profits drop 70 per cent

HTC’s fortunes took another turn for the worse on Friday after the Taiwanese handset giant revealed that first quarter net profits dipped a massive 70 per cent from the same period last year, as the firm continues to struggle against the likes of Samsung and Apple. Profits stood at NT$4.5 billion (£95m) for the first three …

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Anonymous Coward

Motorola Mobility is another big challenge

The article names Samsung and Apple as "the biggest challenge to HTC getting back on track", but this analyst firm Gartner needs to remember that when it comes to Android there is one more to count on: Motorola Mobility newly acquired by Google.

That is, unless you believe that Google spent that much money only for defensive patents.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Motorola Mobility is another big challenge

It might be or... not.

HTC lost 70 million, but moto lost 80 million

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/26/us-motorolamobility-idUSTRE80P23W20120126

Google are gonna heave to get a lot people to click a lot of ads to get that back and subsidise the coming tablets.

They ain't gonna make it

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Re: Motorola Mobility is another big challenge

I don't think it will matter to google as they became a company like Microsoft not caring how much money a division loses.

Not a good thing of course, they could use Motorola as a stick to teach their partners an lesson. E.g. Run stock android and thing still sells better than hacked ui stuff, these guys will think "perhaps our idea of lame ui tricks doesn't do any good".

Huawei of China gives almost stock android with couple of additions which may be needed for low specs, they are doing good. Of course, industry and media wears their tin foil hat and say "red army". No, not just that, company is run by engineers who hates non functional fancy ui trickery just like google culture hates.

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Anonymous Coward

How the mighty have fallen....

There was a time, not that long ago where HTC owned the Smartphone (pocketPC) market

Where did they go wrong?

To me it seems like the Jump to Android was the mistake, they had taken Current Gen tech which was amazingly quick with WM 6.5 and slapped Android on it which ran like crap and was very unreliable.

then they flooded the market with almost identical units with minimal OS improvements, it wasn't until much later that they actually got the OS working well for them

And yet during this Time the old HD2 continues to be one of the most popular devices out there that is able to run anything you want, WM, Android, WP and in the near future it will be able to hold all 3 of them at the same time. Perhaps there is something to this that HTC is missing.

You want to be unique? give a phone to the masses that A, looks look, B, made well, C allows the user to pick and choose its OS

Course the networks wouldn't like that but that's another issue.

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Re: How the mighty have fallen....

I've bought a number of HTC phones going back to the old wm touch pro phone which was excellent in its time.

My last phone was the Desire Z which will be the last phone that I ever buy from HTC. The phone itself is pretty good but the sense overlay (while nice looking) is slow and has several bugs that HTC never respond to support tickets about.

The last straw was when HTC announced no ICS upgrade for a phone that is under two years old and was a premium phone when new.

I have now loaded cyanagen 7 on it and it runs so much better. I have no idea what i'm going to do next as the number of phones with keyboards is steadly decreasing :(

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Re: How the mighty have fallen....

"To me it seems like the Jump to Android was the mistake, they had taken Current Gen tech which was amazingly quick with WM 6.5 and slapped Android on it which ran like crap and was very unreliable."

Dunno about that - I've played with plenty of HTC's and android seems to run similarly to the Samsung galaxys.

"then they flooded the market with almost identical units"

Hit the nail on the head with that. I looked at a HTC last time I upgraded and found 3 extremely similar HTC handsets that would have suited me - their R&D bill must be huge (and unnecessarily so...)

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Re: How the mighty have fallen....

Same. I had a desire z. But HTC os had terrible showstopping bugs. Put on cyanogenmod and works well now!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How the mighty have fallen....

Aye, ive been using HTC since the first XDA, and without a doubt every WM device they made (that I used) was only bettered by its newer replacement ( I didn't have them all but I did have 5 or 6 if you include the HD2)

I think the initial issue with android was just that Sense was directly ported from WM, in fact much of the UI you see in most Android versions was at one time or another available as an overlay of WM. The issue with WM was that the hardware couldn't power it very well until we got 1Ghz Snapdragons by which time MS had neglected it for too long and just at the very moment it could have pulled a blinder the rug was pulled out from under it

I also have a feeling that HTC was sitting on a bunch of SoCs that were essentially the same as the WM devices which was why we saw so many clones of the same thing, with a slightly different shell around it.

anyhow, downvote as ,much as you like, the UI comments on Android are however fact, theres little ive seen on android or iOS that wasn't on WM at the end with the use of an overlay.

It was just unfortunate that the hardware to run it came to late, oh an MSs general neglect and the networks Shafting the ROMs at every opportunity with bloatware and shoddy support.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How the mighty have fallen....

My HTC Evo 3D is far and away the best phone I've ever owned. It pains me to see this happen. Here's hoping they get things turned around.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Damn shame

I have an HTC desire and other than the limited amount of on board memory I love it. I hope they manage to make a comeback.

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Headmaster

To be fair, if you make a phone look look, you would be unique.

I like HTC. I hope they get out of this hole. The One series does look the business. For me though, phones need to have better cameras in them. Something with a physical button that allows you to pull the phone from your pocket and snap a picture almost instantaneously.

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Big Brother

Pre-installed software and trust?

HTC need to push LESS of their own sofware IMHO - I would love my HTC Desire even more, if only I could legitimately remove the pre-installed bloatware like Stocks, Footprints et al...

I mean, I wonder why it is that Stocks, described as a means for you to 'track' your company stocks and shares holdings, needs to have Location services access, Hardware control to record audio and take pictures, System settings access for UI, global, mount/unmount filesystem, process listing as well as SMS / MMS edit and read...

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Stop

Windows Phone distraction.

HTC's fall in fortunes from the giddy heights of a couple of years back, seems to perfectly fit with the time they lost focus on the Windows Phone flop.

Surely that's a warning to any other manufacturer stupid enough to try and deviate from Android.

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Stop

Re: Windows Phone distraction.

HTCs demise from above is more linked to them taking on Android and WM getting pulled, it was quite a while afterwards that WP came on to the scene

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Silver badge

Windows Phone

This is what happens when you deal with the devil. I hope the Microsoft patent deal and Windows Phone arrangement was worth it, as whilst you were mucking about with the Windows Phone trainwreck, you had your eye off the ball and let Samsung in...

EPIC FAIL.

Lets hope the failed Windows Phone "arrangement" is over for HTC and they go back to concentrating on making awesome Android handsets again. The HTC One is certainly looking like they are back to their old ways.

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Go

Samsung put out some decent phones and marketed them well, HTC put out too many phones that weren't all that different, and I don't remember seeing any marketing.

This new HTC One looks good, is getting good reviews and I've seen adverts at the bus stop. Let's see where this goes....

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Bronze badge

Why I think HTC markets many models...

I think various phone makers to this because some carriers are wantonly greedy or selfish in demanding that a certain curvature or shape on one side or speaker grille treatment be made. Some want certain control chips inside. Some want certain stock, consumer-right-to-have features disabled or stripped or just crippled.

Just look at the Samsung Note. Sprint ALMOST had it, but AT&T got it instead. I don't know whether one carrier paid more or another made this-time-it's-tooooo-unreasonable demands. If Sprint got the Note I'd have dumped my EVO 3G IMMEDIATELY. But, I'm not going over to AT&T.

Even still, what annoys the hell out of me right now about my EVO 3G:

-- HTC or Sprint or Google keep sending me a header message that a minor convenience and security fix is waiting. INT WTF? Why ask me? All kinds of other imposed, mandatory, forced reboot slipstream code comes to my phone. WTF is it that I have to approve personally for THIS one? What, is it some federally-mandated backdoor that strangely requires my assent to it lest a case be toss out if I'm under investigation? Sheesh ! FORCE the fecking upgrade and be done with it.

-- The other thing annoying me is that the keyboard is laggy, and sticks. It is in-FUCKING-FURIATING to be speed typing along, only to find 15 out of 60 letters are dropped or tripled, only to suffer a further indignity of the back arrow key not working, then forward doesn't work, and the delete key won't either. I can thumb-insert the cursor and then inconsistently make new text, but not edit or delete the trailing, undesired text. Worse, long-pressing to get "Select Word" and selecting for cut the stuff I want to be gone makes ALL the text vanish.

<Rant on>

Sense UI is probably fracking up sales for HTC models. I am itching intensely for a HUGE Note-like model. Either on Sprint, or one I can get elsewhere.

But, I, too, agree that HTC needs to cut back on the plethora, same-month-release-of-multiple-models. Definitely more than ONE model every two years, but fewer than 10 per year.

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the answer is simple! fire the guy who keeps saying lets make the new phone look identical to the last phone. All htc handsets look the same its so boreing, when was the last time you saw a design from them that was actually something new? even there larger phones are just blown up versions of there smaller ones.

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FAIL

Failures with support

I have bought several generations of HTC phones back as far as the O2 XDA and right up to the Desire HD. After a hardware failure with the Desire HD and having to deal with HTC supprt, I will never touch another HTC device again. It is nothing short of infuriating!! HTC are reaping what they have sown.

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Silver badge

Re: Failures with support

Which is why I have ruled out HTC for my next phone, in spite of liking my ageing Legend. If I bought a new HTC One and it proved a lemon, I'm screwed.

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Re: Failures with support

Really, are you? Presuming you get the phone through a carrier then the carrier provides the support, and in my experience this, while tedious is managable.

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Horrible pr

I have bought Evo 3d and it amazes people from every profile and also makes people recently purchased "3d TV with glasses" mad.

My decision was based on the specs (4x better than Huawei I replaced) and addition of the 3d display/ record capability.

Funny thing is, the dealer tried to sell me a Samsung (which I hate) while I try to purchase device with name.

While handing the receipt, he said "now I got it, 3d may matter"

What kind of advertising they do? They basically give the device for free in USA and besides the model name "3d", there is nothing that tells the unique capability of device.

Not a gamer here but last time I checked, there are like 5 games that uses the capability. I think they never had the idea of "give a sdk to game companies and they can rip off $3 more for 3d" plot.

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FAIL

HTC One X or One XL?

Why do Android manufaturers insist on thinking we all want massive screens? If I want a nice fast quad core processor (something to match the iPhone 4S) I have to have a huge screen.

Problem is, I don't want a huge phone!

Give me something with the power and size of an iPhone 4S running Android or quite frankly I am going to have to go ahead and buy a bloody iPhone. Then I have to put up with all the "I told you so"s from friends and family!

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Stop

They appear to be 'doing a Nokia'

Releasing loads of handsets, all at the same time, pretty much all the same specs (but with silly differences like one has a 'X' coloured case or an integrated dog whistle or something equally useless in the real world).

You walk into a phone shop (or look online) and see a bunch of HTC handsets that look the same, then you see other manufacturers with this that and the other differentiating almost every model.

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Re: They appear to be 'doing a Nokia'

I was about to post the same thing!

This does have a nokia wiff to it, and I guess they thought playing the numbers game would work.

But having 20 middle of the road handsets is not greater than having one mould breaker (iphone), or having something on the phone that is market leading, like a top notch camera.

quality is always better than quantity with these high priced phone models, especially in a high end sector of the mobile market. This is why their brand has no USP, all customers find is a sea of grey.

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Silver badge

Re: They appear to be 'doing a Nokia'

I think the rational is to flood the shop with handsets so as to make everyone in the shop aware of the brand whilst keeping competing handsets out of the shop. I don't think the plan works very well when people start approximating HTC phones with grey sludge, even if the phones are outstanding. Think how Samsung kept it's highest end phone as the Galaxy S2 and is now the de-facto chief competitor to the iPhone 4S.

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Yup

Had a few HTCs on windows (Titan, another one, Polaris - I think..). Then got a Nexus One and now on an S2.

Switch from HTC was a combination of trying to get them to fix my Nexus (no, being without a phone for a few weeks is not customer service - and trying to arrange for a courier to be in the same place as my phone for the pickup was bizarrely problematic and took a couple of attempts). Anyway, that took away the goodwill, but I'd consider HTC for my next phone.

So, why didn't I get an HTC? Well Sense for a start - nobody likes it. Samsung messes with stock as well, but the additions are subtle and actually 'useful' - I may even go as far as to suggest I'd actively 'want' these on my phone. Also choice was simple. S2 seemed to have won every award going, I compared it against every HTC I could see (and there are way too many) and frankly couldn't see any reason to not take the Samsung.

Eventually HTC did find their differentiator, 'Beats (by Dre)'.... all their R&D, their ability to make any phone for any niche and they decide that licensing some OK garish earbuds and a graphic equalizer is they way ahead. Just seemed to utterly retarded - I mean fine, chuck them in as a sweetener to help sell "HTC, the phone that you might actually consider using the included earphones with" - but come on, that was it?

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Anonymous Coward

It could work ..

If HTC can get the pricing right, I have a feeling the One series could do reasonably well simply because - with the exception of the kinda low spec and now months old, Nexus - they're the first native ICS phones out there.

I'm sure there are quite a few people around who, like myself, have been holding off their upgrade because they expected that a flood of new ICS phones was imminent and that it would include the new Samsung S3.

So far, no flood and no S3. The latest is that the S3 won't be appearing for another 3 or 4 months (I'm not that patient) and the only other ICS phones due in the interim are from LG and Huawei, neither of whom have much of a record at the high end.

My HTC Desire has been fine. I kinda like Sense. I could be tempted by a One. Not sure about the one (One?) with a 4.7" screen, though: making a call on that must be like holding a paperback to your head.

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Meh

Dont bite the hand that feeds you

"Analysts have put HTC’s demise down to its inability to carve out a decisive brand identity and differentiate from the multitude of rivals all selling Android handsets."

I think its more to do with HTC alienating the developer community, the people that were actually buying HTC products. They started locking down every device making it harder and harder for devs to customise and low and behold, this time last year we all went out and bought SGS2s from Uncle Sammy.

12 months on, the S2 is still holding its own so nobody has had to buy a new phone. HTC have since completely u-turned on their bootloader policy, so the next 12 months will probably see HTC pick up again, but its been an expensive lesson for them to learn.

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Not shocked to hear this

I think too many handsets that are too similar, I mean three desire variants, the incredible, sensation and it's variants. When the only real difference is android version or camera pixel count or screen size. Everything else on board is very similar as to not really factor in a decision.

I have the desire HD and it will be the last one I buy because of the sense UI. Just sick of it crashing all the time, chewing up processor and RAM or just slowing down the phone. I unlock and have to wait for it to stop spinning before I can use my phone.

And this is only just working again after their last two updates desroyed my wifi networking (2.3.3 and then destroyed my 3g. Four months later I got 2.3.5 which fixed it (but gave me sense 3.0) Still I am on the list for ICS.

I hear in ICS you can disable certain apps from running at the application level, so I might actually for the first time ever be able to turn off 'stocks' and 'facebook 'and 'google mail' and 'google plus' and 'footprints' and oh the list is endless.

But will it let me also turn off HTC likes, HTC reccommends, HTC error reporting, HTC annoying app1, 2, 3 etc. Sense 3.0

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Meh

Samsung is no better...

I would agree with that assessment. Samsung isn't great at solving bugs either, Android 2.3.6 has an annoying WiFi bug on my Galaxy S that hasn't been fixed for months. Lots of people are experiencing it and nothing from Samsung...

In many ways yes, CyanogenMod is about the best thing you can do to an Android phone. Short of going for the official Google phone and going with lovely pain vanilla Android.

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Mushroom

Oversaturation......

Like a few others my last 6 or so phones have been HTC based starting with the XDA2.

The problem HTC has is purely too many handsets that all do the same thing rather than focussing on a few good ones.....That and HTC's wonderful customer service reputation.

Nothing to do with WP7, nothing to do with their step to Android.

The fact is generally most people will go for the flagship device in their OS flavour with anything outside being a minority choice.

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i like my HTC, but i probably won't be getting another cos they're all the bloody same, i have no idea which is their most recent model, which ones are the budget models, which one is the premium model etc

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As many others have said

My last 5 phones have been HTC, including legends such as a Athena (with 1.8 inch hard disk) and the Universal. Loved them - loved them to bits. Unique and quirky. My current phone, the Desire HD, I can not fault.

Having said that, I'm coming up to my next phone, and I'm honestly thinking of jumping ship - the couple of last roll-outs from HTC have been a number of basically identical phones. Nothing differentiates them, just a bunch of 3inch - 4.7inch phones, with slightly tweaked processors.

The innovation I used to love is now coming from Samsung - and the phone I 'really' like the look of is the Galaxy Note - as my previous phones suggest, I love huge honking great phones, but hell, it's something different - different is good. A load of semi-identical SKU's is not good - for consumers, and surely not for HTC?

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Anonymous Coward

Lost the plot

I was looking forward to the new HTC One series, looked like a good replacement for my Desire.

But no SD slot, and a micro sim instead of a standard one has taken it completely out the running for me.

Any suggestions for something of a similar spec, but with SD & standard sim please ?

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Meh

Re: Lost the plot

I've got a Desire HD (posting this from it) and would have to agree with most of the comments on this thread: HTC phones have been quite good in the past, HTC preloaded apps are very annoying (coupled with orange for double ridiculousness), last Sense update really spoilt it for me. Won't get another unless these things are resolved and since they won't be...... roll on the S3

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