back to article HTC warns of likely loss next quarter

Taiwanese mobile-maker HTC has warned that it may have its first ever operating loss in the third quarter, sending its shares sliding nearly seven per cent. HTC said in a statement announcing its Q2 results that its margins had been hit by "the relatively higher cost structure, lack of economy of scale and certain provisions …

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They bring out a better phone than the S4 and yet they can't attract enough of the market.

We live in a mad world.

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Doesn't surprise me

I recently sold my Nexus 4 and went to upgrade. My choices were between the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. I looked at a number of reviews and went in store to have a play with the HTC one since I didn't know anyone who owned one. The hardware was a fantastic bit of kit I thought it looked exactly how the last iPhone should've looked. I think it's the best looking phone on the market, but I went with the S4 because I had this niggling thought in the back of my mind to all the people I know who were stung buying previous HTC phones such as the desire HD etc. I know a few people who vowed never to get another HTC phone again due to their previous approach of releasing a billion models with loads of flaws (granted mainly software) that were never ironed out.

It'll take a few more devices like the HTC one being released to win me around, but whether HTC can last that long who knows. The current Samsung ads remind me of the old Apple ones in the sense that they are simple and strike a chord with the common man and they seem to go off the adverts when buying a new phone. The Samsung ads are effective they appeal to everyone and the HTC ones just seemed to target hipsters

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Anonymous Coward

I think the problem is they bring out too many phone models, they've wasted their time on WP8 when Nokia is the leader in that market.

They should drop Windows Phone, support their customers better and perhaps move back to more serviceable devices. A HTC one with SD slot, 32GB memory and possible removable battery would have sold better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doesn't surprise me

Glad I got the HTC One. Samsung really messed up with the 16GB internal memory, if they have 32GB I would have gone for one.

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Re: Doesn't surprise me

>It'll take a few more devices like the HTC one being released to win me around,

As a current Thunderbolt owner (yes its a total dog, POS) I totally hear ya but even then it would take Samsung really stumbling as well to get me to ever buy another HTC.

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Paris Hilton

>They bring out a better phone than the S4 and yet they can't attract enough of the market.

We live in a mad world.

There are only so many pretty young hipsters who can afford expensive phones and plans. The rest of us make do with last year's already-discounted-from-the-year-before model.

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Mushroom

Re: Doesn't surprise me @Larry Crapbeans

You hit the nail on the head. I'm one of those people who vowed never to have another HTC handset. I had two HTC handsets (Hero and Sensation) and they were both total crap. The Hero was under powered and it took them 9 months to sort out the Android 2.1 update after announcing it. By then 2.1 was old news and the Hero was EOLd.

The Sensation spent all but the first two months turning itself off regularly and at random. It was EOLd about a year after launch.

HTC were utterly unsympathetic in both cases and couldn't have cared less. Right now only Apple get away with (allegedly) treating the customer like that.

Maybe the HTC One is a cracking piece of kit (I wouldn't know but I seriously doubt it), but you muck up once and the market may forgive you if you sort it out next time and don't do it again. Muck up repeatedly and treat the customer like crap when they complain about your muck up and words gets about eventually.

I know I would NEVER have another HTC handset even if they gave them away for free with a unicorn that pisses rainbows.

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The One is great - I have one. I think it's a lack of marketing or awareness. Most people who've seen my handset didn't even know it existed (even though it's been around since April) and assume you either get an iPhone or an S4...

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Anonymous Coward

Reason is that the service centre they use in the UK doesn't repair the devices so people are reluctant to buy HTC again. Regenersis send the handsets to Poland to be repaired where they get turned on and off, then sent back with a cover note saying "no fault found after extensive testing" - even for devices where the problem is a screen not replaced properly by them in the first place. I have a OneX here that had a screen replaced, only to have it returned to me with the earpiece end sticking out of the body by 1mm. Had it sent back to be fitted properly only for it to be returned 2 weeks later with a letter saying that "no fault could be found through extensive testing" and the screen still protruding (even with photos submitted to them and mentioned on the paperwork what the problem was!!! I know people who are still waiting for the ONE's to be returned to them after waiting 3 MONTHS for Regenersis to get the parts!!! HTC UK are taking the flak for it of course, and the only way they are going to turn this around is to change to a different service centre or do it in-house. Even HTC India is the same with their service centres messing customers about!

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Samsung are as bad

My S3 stopped working after 8 months - just boot looped whilst in my pocket.

After a couple of days I managed to get Samsung to take it back. Week later I get a letter "Cost to replace broken screen £130"... Phone up the repair company to let them know my screen was pristine, and if it's broken it must have happened in shipping. Unfortunately they can't check as they sent the phone back to me at the same time as they sent me the letter.

So, back on the phone to Samsung (hidden option #6 if memory serves, having given up on their online form system from hell).

No we can't take it back, as you broke the screen.

No, I didn't break the screen, it's infront of me completely unbroken.

Well that may be what you say.

You calling me a liar?

No, but we can't take it take it for repair, as the screen is broken.

Eventually they did take it back (after I'd promised I'd pay for any re-inspection they thought required), this time it went to another repair company. This time they just returned it to me immediately with a note saying that due to water damage the phone is uneconomical to repair.

So, back on the phone to them. Seemingly the best they could offer was that I could drop it off at one of a few qualified electrical engineers and pay them to produce a report on my phone....

I eventually decided that I just need a phone - so I currently have an HTC One, which I love to bits. Especially after the last update, which has seemingly doubled the battery life (although it was quite shocking before when you put it under any load).

The S3 is still sitting there on a shelf mocking me. The sensible thing would be to keep on bugging Samsung, but I just can't summon the energy. The rational thing would be to ebay it as-is for parts, but god-damnit, Samsung owe me a phone.

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Updates...

I definitely prefer HTC's aluminium, premium feel over Sammy's plasticky body (and their frankly gimmicky feature bloatware) but HTC need to support their phones for at least the length of an average 2 year contract. I just upgraded to a HTC One S (last year's model) 2 days before they pulled the update to 4.2.2. Yes, I can and do flash CM10.x - but your average punter shouldn't need to do that.

If they limited their range to a 4.7" flagship, a high-mid end 4.3" device and a cheap and cheerful low-mid £180ish model, they'd probably be in a much stronger position.

FWIW - I prefer to buy last year's model from eBay and chuck GiffGaff a tenner a month. Works out cost effective and to be honest last year's phones are more than powerful enough for my needs... Although I am looking forward to getting a HTC One next year - they look bloody gorgeous! :)

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Boffin

From reading the comments it seems HTC have already blown their bolt by spaffing their customers in the face with poor quality after-sales service. They've only got themselves to blame for the Q3 loss.

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@Shagbag

Exactly. It looks like HTC have upset far too many of their customers but still can't figure out why.

The casual "I'll buy one that looks nice in the shop" buyer will probably avoid HTC through "Last HTC=Bad" association, but that's the nature of the beast for most mobile buyers who can be fickle and at the mercy of marketing and what the shops have on their shelves.

More importantly, it looks to me like HTC have pissed off far too many of the "I absolutely love HTC and will look at them first for my next upgrade" crowd. Lose too many of them and you're at the mercy of the former Fickle brigade - and they're currently deciding between Samsung or Apple only from the look of it.

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A plague on both their houses

I've had HTC and now Samsung, and haven't seen much difference between them. The handsets are ok, but there's a lot of bloat, gimics and unwanted premium services that can't be uninstalled without rooting. There also seems to be no mechanism for fixing bugs in the operating system, other than installing a totally new version, which the manufacturers and carriers between them have turned into a painfully slow process. The whole mobile phone business needs a big kick up the backside, but I can't see where that's going to come from.

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HTwho

I used to have a desire and loved it to bits, in terms of battery, performance and beauty it left the market at the time for dust, a real shame about their software but cyanogen are always there to save the day. Then, it got stolen at the gym.

Fast forward almost three years and HTC are almost completely off the map, they haven't released a "distinguished" phone in all that time, they turned in to another company that just churns out android handsetswith no flavour.

When the market is as intensely competitive as phones are, people at the premium end want something that is exactly that. The one is an excellent phone but, too little too late, if they'd have released that at a time when shiny was all it took to win, there'd be no problems. We now have phones with stylus', phones that swim, phones with super hi-res screens (I know the One uses technology from Sharp) and crazy cameras so where does that really position HTC?

I think my Samsung is great and so do a lot of techies based on the amount of activity at xda. They are still innovating too! See the advert for flexi screens. The only thing that will change that for me is an underdog who can bring some new tricks to the table.

So long HTC, thanks for all the fish

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Licence

just stop paying Microsoft their blackmail, sorry, license money and they'll be making a fat profit again.

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