back to article HTC woes prompts 'leave now' tweet from former staffer

Life just got even harder for struggling Taiwanese mobe-maker HTC, with chief product officer Kouji Kodera walking out the door and another former staffer posting nasties to Twitter. Kodera, who held a similar position at previous employer Sony Ericsson, joins recent departees VP of global comms Jason Gordon, global retail …

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Pity really, I liked my HTC Desire a lot. I now have a Desire X (in part because the interface was familiar, in part because I got a good deal), but when that needs replacement I may well have to look elsewhere, unless by then telcos are dumping their HTC phones as they too bail out (something tells me living in the Netherlands has influenced me ;-) ).

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Meh

I switched from a Desire to an S3 because I wanted one with a removal back so I could install a bigger battery.

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Quality is key

I liked the HTC design and generally the phones are easy to use. But a couple of years ago, I went through a phase where almost every other HTC handset had to be returned under warranty as it failed in use, usually within a couple of days. (about a dozen handsets?)

The trouble was that the end users then began to talk amongst themselves and several of them started to indicate that they didn't want to be given an HTC handset, even if it was a different model. I'm sure that has been true for a lot of others.

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Holmes

Re: Quality is key

Their problem for me is that my 2-2.5 year old DHD is still working just fine - and I expect it to go on working for another couple of years at least.

This is a challenge - you make something that falls apart and get berated, but if you make something that lasts then you get no future sales, because in this arena things move so fast I'll be looking completely afresh by the time I need a new phone...

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Re: Quality is key

Yeah. I had an HTC Magic and an HTC Dream. After about 7 months the dream would show full connectivity, but would not receive calls until your rebooted it. My carrier offered me a reduced price on the Magic as a replacement. After about 7 months it kept umounting and remounting the SD card. Replacing with different brands of cards did not resolve it. All data on the cards were corrupted.

After spending large amounts of money on HTC in a small amount of time and being told they were not under warranty, I went with other manufacturers.

Despite the good reviews of their latest offerings I am still wary of HTC.

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Yeah, the HTC One is great- I have one. But people don't know it exists. There was much cooing over an S4 in the office recently, someone spotted my one and was impressed, but the simply hadn't heard of it. Every shop window has posters for the S4 or iPhone.

HTC need to up their marketing, but if they haven't got the money to do that then yeah, they'll struggle :(

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps if Samsung didn't employ people to rubbish HTC then it would be more well known?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22166606

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A shame really

The new HTC looks stunning. Perhaps too stunning since it costs an arm and a leg to go with it.

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Re: A shame really

Plus you have to throw it away in three or four years when the battery expires - no more passing gadgets down to the in-laws. A terrible waste given the obvious effort they have put into manufacturing the phones.

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FAIL

Re: Plus you have to throw it away in three or four years when the battery expires

Eh, maybe you could just buy a new battery?

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FAIL

Re: Plus you have to throw it away in three or four years when the battery expires

That's going to be a bit hard when you can't replace the one it already has.

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Re: Plus you have to throw it away in three or four years when the battery expires

Just that one model

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Meh

For me, it was the 'platform schism'

Whilst looking for an upgrade for my HTC Desire, I my options down to two smartphones, the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Both Android and quad-core and...

My decision to go with the Samsung came down to, what I saw at the time, a confusing 'future market' position from HTC - Here they were with a potential 'flagship' Android product, but their public statements, at the time, were all about their deal and commitment to WinPhone, not a future I wanted to contemplate having had a less than steller experience of an earlier incarnation of that platform...

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HTC has damaged itself

by not upgrading their products OS in a consistent manner.

Unfortunately it's much easier to damage your reputation than to mend the damage later.

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Re: HTC has damaged itself

And that’s the reason I won’t buy an HTC, or Sony for that matter (although they appear to be making amends in this department).

Being stuck with a handset 1 or 2 major versions behind the Android curve when you’ve still got 7 months left on a contract is not a happy experience.

Once bitten, twice shy. Sorry HTC.

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Stop

I have had both an original Desire and now a One X - both decent phones, but HTC has a few problems. The most important ones from my perspective are:

Too many models, with too confusing a line up.

A habit of dumping the current latest and greatest phone (and its updates) for a new one too quickly - well within a phones contract lifetime.

HTC Sense - dump it, give us plain Android.

Carriers delaying (the already delayed because of Sense) updates, or simply not providing them at all.

Give me regular updates and a bog-standard Android and I'd be happy. Yes, I know about Cyanogen etc. but this is about what HTC get wrong, not someone else gets right...

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too many models

They seem to have taken the "too many models" complaint to heart. This year they have done the opposite and released too few,. Extra frustrating since former Desire Z owners like me now have no upgrade path and are left looking for a new manufacturer when replacement time comes.

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if you dont want to root, and

want a stock jelly bean experiance, nova launcher is the way to go. it drops sense, and just gives you a very close appramation to the stock launcher. lovely stuff.

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Too many models, with too confusing a line up.

EXACTLY.

I've posted about this before and been down-voted by gutless AC type faggots.

HTC only need around 3 phones (all Android) and they should focus their efforts on those three. One of those three should be a high-spec re-introduction of the HTC Wildfire which was, unquestionably, their best phone ever and would sell like 'wildfire' if they re-introduced it (but with high specs).

The HTC One is really nice and the HTC One Mini is looking very promising. With a line up of all 3 (incl. NO WinPho), there is no question HTC will return to profitability. Big time.

There you go. Comments from the 'Super CEO'.

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Re: Too many models, with too confusing a line up.

Perhaps they were simply downvoting your blatant homophobia.

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Re: if you dont want to root, and

Or perhaps buy a Nexus 4, which is about as stock as it gets, plus Google's been good about updating mine - so far...

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Can't figure this one out.

"Sales plummeted nearly 37 per cent in Q1 2013 to NT$42.8bn (£930m), with the firm making just NT$85m (£1.85m) of profit on that - representing a 98 per cent drop."

? Did they make £100m profit last year? Is that what I am to infer? And the lost 37% of sales accounted for 98% of their actual profit?

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Re: Can't figure this one out.

It's all about fixed costs. When sales fall 37% it takes much longer to adjust office space, staff headcount, marketing spend etc. (and companies are usually reluctant to based on 1 year, because if you cut all those things you're admitting it wasn't a 1 year blip and you're likely to be a smaller company from here on out).

If the remaining £930m of sales in q1 just cover those fixed costs then any profitable revenue on top of that would appear as profit, and so small changes in the sales figure can lead to much larger shifts in profitability.

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By now I am convinced that the mismanagement lies at the top. Too many stupid decisions are being made in too many areas for this to be a localized issue. I was worried a couple of years ago when HTC saw a few high profile exits. That had set me wondering why a player with seriously good phones was seeing good people to go. It looks like they were the canaries telling us of something nasty up ahead. And soon we saw HTC begin to crumble.

It is a pity really. I was seriously considering the HTC One against the Galaxy S4. But now the idea doesn't seem to make sense anymore. Why is no other manufacturer coming close to competing with Samsung on Android phones anymore? LG? Sony?

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Joke

Too many phone lines.

Is that a pun?

Not funny even if it qualifies.

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Dilemma

I have a One X and I'm half way through my two year contract.

Likes:

Looks good / Speedy / Great screen, both size and ppi / Good camera / FM radio.

Dislikes:

The long delay getting 4.1 and now waiting for 4.2 / Battery life not great.

Which leaves me with a problem at end of contract. I don't want to buy a phone from a company that won't be around for the lifetime of the contract. I also want a good camera, which looks like a FAIL for the HTC One. So as things stand, I'll be jumping ship in the new year - except Sammy have dropped the FM radio. Just have to hope there's something out there by next March.

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Anonymous Coward

removable battery

is clearly a crippling design fault, after all it completely scuppered sales of the iPhone. Oh, wait....

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Re: removable battery

Its a design 'feature' that has put me off along with its lack of removable memory. Otherwise I would have chosen their new offering over the Samsung S4

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HTC One - a turnaround for HTC

My most recent mobile choice was between Sony Z and HTC One, having read the reviews on The Reg the only handset really making a difference for me was the HTC One, one of the key features being forward facing speakers.

The HTC One is so much better than previous HTC models that I've used - my main concerns where the battery life and camera quality. The battery life easily lasts two days with moderate usage and the camera quality is great too, with the 'Zoe' feature enabling me to get some improvements on people shots over previous phone cameras.

Unfortunately I did have to wait about 4 weeks longer than I was expecting to get the phone due to supply but it was worth the wait.

I hope that HTC is able to capitalise on their recent handset improvements as it is good to have as many manufacturers coming up with new ideas as possible. The worst case will be a Samsung vs Apple smartphone choice both fighting with minor incremental updates.

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FAIL

No micro SD slot or removable battery - No sale!

I had a one of the original HTC Desires and it was a good phone but was left stuck on Android 2.2 froyo, it left a nasty taste that HTC seamed to forget about it. Now they have moved to fixed battery and no micro SD they have ruled themselves out of the market as far as I am concerned. I now have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which is superb and has removable battery and an up to 64GB micro SD slot and has already had Android updated since I bought it.

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Re: No micro SD slot or removable battery - No sale!

Have to agree 100%. I wont even consider a phone that doesn't have these basic requirements, even if looks cooler than the coolest thing!!

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I'd take this with a pinch of salt... as another former staffer, I can tell you Mr. Lin is something of a drama queen with very little influence. I imagine he's been given the boot... along with the other deadwood.

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2 year contracts syndrome?

I've had a Desire and currently have the One X, both exceptional phones, my wife has had the same and between us we've had a sum total of zero problems in the last 3 years, (6 years if you count us twice).

For me the issue HTC had was the "too many models", the Desire was the top phone when we got ours but it was followed shortly by the Desire HD,Z and god knows what else, then came the Sensation... All the time our 2 year contracts on the Desire were chugging along and the phones were still working but missing out on some of the later android version goodness the newer phones had. As our contracts ran out the One X appeared, so I waited to renew the contracts until we could get the One X. By this time there was also the One S, followed shortly by the One XL and now just the One. In the meantime Jelly Bean appeared and it too a while to get to our "flagship" phones.

I'm still happy with my One X but it does grate that the world and its wife is fawning over the One and the One X appears to have been relegated to Wildfire status in terms of support. I'm a pretty big HTC fan but I will probably move us both to Samsung once these contracts are up which is a shame as I like Sense and am not too keen on Touchwiz.

HTC may have been better off tying their product release cycle to contract cycles, 24 months have been standard for contract phones for some time. Granted not everyone is on a contract but large numbers of people are, if HTC stuck a balance between contract cycles and android versions they could be sitting pretty. Plus as has already been mentioned blown a bit on marketing they may not be facing some of the issues they now have. They have splurged on Champions league advertising for the One but it would appear too little too late.

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hey HTC fans....

you DO realise you have to BUY one, not just say how good it is????

there are even reviews comparing the 'ultrapixel' and showing its not so good....

(um 4, 5, 8 MP cam depending on the letters after 'one' - its no wonder buyers are confused!!!)

any way you say it, not as good as 12 MP...

NO, that is experia acro, SE satio, LG optimus, even the Nokia N8!!

even an 8MP Nokia is better...

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Unhappy

Re: hey HTC fans....

This review opened my eyes to the camera --> http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4_vs_htc_one-review-913.php. Shame, as the rest of the phone seems to be ace.

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I had a Desire S. The handset was well designed and well built, but the software .... Why were Facebook and Twitter system apps that couldn't be deleted without rooting the phone? Why did HTC Locations pop up every time I went anywhere near a map, trying to flog their premium navigation service I didn't want? And this also was a system app. Then every so often the "Use Secure Storage Credentials" setting would decide to uncheck itself, and then you can't switch the phone off without entering the password again.

Similarly, the car mount is well made, if expensive, but it launches Locations automatically and assumes all you want to do is navigate. Actually I mostly want music. But you can't replace it with an alternative car dock app, unless you root the phone.

After a year of fighting all the preinstalled rubbish, I replaced it with a Galaxy S3, which not perfect, but is a lot intrusive. Better marketing won't help HTC, they don't just need to win customers, they need to keep them.

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"a lot less intrusive", is what I thought I put.

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FAIL

Locations

I raised the auto starting Locations on insertion to car dock with HTC shortly after I got my HTC Sensation at launch (July 2011). I bought the official HTC car dock and I agree it was pretty well designed.

After going around the usual scripted houses with support of ways to stop it happening I was told they were looking into adding a new feature that would make "action on car dock insertion" configurable. Its a feature I'm still waiting for (shocker!) and in the end I found the best way to solve the problem was to disable the app completely since I only ever used G! Maps anyway.

Built in apps can be disabled but not removed - its the next best thing if you overlook the dead storage they take up. I did it to the built in book face and twatter apps (which HTC said were not removable because Android is a "social" OS!!) among others like the weather/stocks/clock apps that slurp ALL android permissions without any need to do so. Why the hell should a clock widget require permissions to make premium rate calls or authenticate my Google account?!

HTC's death is long overdue.

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Meh

Just got the HTC One for me, and the S4 for the missus. So far we're both happy, but I have found more glitches on the One.

Wifi seems to like disconnecting, unless I enable "Wifi Performance Mode", which supposedly reduces battery life. I'm also unable to get the notification sound to change - Even though it shows as having been changed.

So far I like the camera (low light is amazing), the speakers are good, and the screen is lovely. But after just a few days of ownership, I am already looking at flashing it with stock Android.........

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no updates, no purchase

My very best phone so far has been the HTC Sensation. I was very impressed with the phone, but somewhere down the line, HTC let me down. They promised a Jellybean release and then decided not to release it. This made me very upset because my friends who had samsung phones were receiving updates while I wasn't. I am now waiting for the Galaxy note 3.

I believe HTC should do what Samsung is doing and has done. Identify a flagship phone and continue building it and updating it every year. For example, instead of HTC One, they should've called it HTC Sensation 2. To my knowledge, the sensation, at its time sold very well so why not continue to build on it like samsung did with the galaxy and apple with the iPhone. Instead, they just let it die.

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I love/hate HTC sometimes

I've owned two HTC phones and been burned twice by HTC by them deciding to utterly orphan the devices with no further updates...the last time was the promised upgrade to ICS on the Desire HD that they decided to not do without so much as a "sorry." And then Cyanogen decided to not do CM9 "officially" for the DHD.

But I like the hardware. I like SenseUI.

Fortunately, at least for my Desire HD, there are some 3rd Party roms that keep me up-to-date...Jellytime was decent but lacking in any kind of quality control so I dumped it for the Blackout rom and haven't looked back...Blackout DHD is the ROM that HTC should have given us in the first place....ICS with Sense.

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FAIL

Current HTC

I have the HTC One V.

And I will never get another HTC, even if I have to go back to running along with a message in a cleft stick.

Because; every time I use the control buttons there's a 5 second delay, touching the on-screen keys only gets the right key if the finger is on the far left of the letter, the Text button works in a weird way as the messages flash up then vanish until the button is pressed again, the Sound control is buried in the settings menu with no obvious way to get to it quickly, the Menu vanishes if the phone is held landscape ( which is the only way to get a decent go at typing a message), and so on.

And that's before all the useless pre-installed c**p that makes locating any useful app take twice as long.

And my intense dislike of HTC is not based on this model in particular, but rather the attitude that that let them design and market a device that seemed so good when I chose it, but is ruined because it has so many flaws.

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Once Bitten... and so forth.

Like others I'm a current HTC owner... Desire HD that I've had for almost 2yrs now.

I'm happy with the phone, it does everything I need it to and reasonably reliable and battery life can last me around 20-30hrs.

Last year they announced that the Desire HD would be getting ICS... then they backtracked and wouldn't update it, in spite of the fact the lesser spec Desire S was going to.

That annoyed me because they then push out another version of their sense overlay... but not ICS.

Because of that, when I change my phone I shall be looking elsewhere I think.

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Good riddance HTC

Like many others -

had the HTC Desire, loved it - then the world moved on and apps got bigger - was forever getting messages about low storage and the phone became unusable (Gmail and various apps would just stop working - including push messages until some space was freed). Rooted - stuck Oxygen on and continued loving it. Upgraded to the HTC One X - HTC promised at the launch of the One X that they had learnt from their mistakes and would henceforth be releasing LESS phones..... The HTC One X has various software issues from day one - the worst one for me - was the constant issue with Sense crashing when leaving an app and having to wait 30 seconds - 1 minute while it restored itself - the worst reproducible situation was taking a HDR photo and then pressing "home". After a few software updates - Sense seemed more stable and the phone seemed a bit faster - but it still wasn't keen on staying connected to the mobile network. Then I noticed that Skype and G+ could not actually do a video call - that is - they could for about 30 seconds and then the main process would be killed by Android because there is actually not a lot of RAM left by the time Sense (Rosie?) has got it's share. Frustrated with HTC and Three (because of their abysmal update process) I jumped ship to the Nexus 4 - Never again will I go HTC or Carrier branded. It's a shame because HTC phones are nice - but they always seem to have "just enough" hardware to get by - but not enough for future proofing. The Desire would have been amazing had it had a bit more internal storage and the One X would have been amazing if it had another 1GB of RAM. It's worth noting that my HTC Desire is still running as a replacement house phone on CM7 - whereas I lost faith in the One X when the screen cracked one night just sitting there doing nothing - never been dropped - suspect it was a temperature thing.

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I've had four HTC handsets - no complaints about any of them, but the next phone will be a Nexus. Shame though, Sense is by far superior to the Samsung UI.

The out-of-memory thing was irritating as hell though. My Desire got factory-reset about once a month towards the end because of that. My OH had a Wildfire and that suffered the same fate. Only recently have they cottoned onto the idea that a phone may need a bit more than 90Mb for applications!

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