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back to article HTC looks to cheaper phones as revenues wane

HTC said that it will pull away from the premium smartphone market and focus its efforts on lower-cost handsets. The company said in its latest quarterly report, published on Monday, that the move would help the company improve its margins as HTC struggles to cope with plummeting revenues. The firm reported 42.9bn NT$ (New …

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No HTC

your flagship HTC one trounces the latest Samsung phones in build quality, looks and speed.

Just advertise it a bit better when you make the HTC two!!! (And add an SD card and removable battery :)

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Simple To Me

How does a company lose $17Bn year-to-year, yet still make millions in profit? Well, simple...they invested less money into their business, which, of course, will lead to less profits. Period.

HTC should have LOST money, not still made 1/3 their profit from the previous year. That shows that they are not marketing, are not innovating, are not doing the things they used to do... If HTC simply listened to their customers, they would likely succeed (SEE: T-Mobile). Listening to customers is how most businesses are successful. Once they stop listening to their customers (normally around the time that Wall Street gets involved), the outcome is always bleak.

It's almost like investors exist ONLY to destroy companies.

Either way, yeah, think about that: HTC lost 17 BILLION year-to-year, in gross income, yet still made 310 Million in profit. One could call it "awesome business savvy"...and another, me, could call it "a failure to invest in their business and listen to their customers..." ...but I'm just a lowly slave trying to be free...

Carry on...

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Re: Simple To Me

"How does a company lose $17Bn year-to-year, yet still make millions in profit? Well, simple...they invested less money into their business, which, of course, will lead to less profits. Period."

Err, no. They didn't "lose" NT$17bn, they made NT$17bn fewer sales. As net profit varies by device and market, it might even have been feasible to increase profits on that reduction in sales. Nokia's inability to make profit on volume sales illustrates that quite nicely.

R&D was (in relative terms) quite well protected, at 3.1bn (compared to 3.4bn same quarter last year). Where HTC really took the razor out was sales & marketing costs (4.7 bn versus 8.4 a year ago).

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Cheaper phones? About time.

It's long overdue for a shake out in the smart phone market - no matter how I look at it the current $500-$1000 prices are way out of line.

Given how ubiquitous these phones have become, and how short the usual life span is for a bit of tech that gets carried in pockets and purses, and dropped regularly, I would expect prices for mid-range phones to settle in at couple of hundred dollars.

At that point I'd trade in at least once a year instead of waiting until my phone is well and truly dead.

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HTC wake up

They blew $1 billion on an advertising campaign with Robert Downey Jr. and I can count on one hand the number of times I saw anything to do with either him or the HTC One on TV. That number is actually zero.

They have to start focussing on one thing, any one thing, and push that hard. Even with the relative success of the One they're second guessing themselves when they have to keep on that track. I don't mean ignore all markets in favour of it but keep pushing the premium phones and eventually people will see that the likes of the Galaxy line are awful quality and maybe switch. If they would consider offering handsets with stock Android in place of Sense I imagine a lot more would look at their phones.

Even as a fan of HTC I'm having a very hard time considering them for my next phone. They just seem to have a giant bowl of bad ideas that they keep going back to like a comfort eater with a bowl of popcorn.

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Translation

We can't compete with Samsung and Apple in the high end market, so we're going to compete in the far more cut throat low end market against a horde of Chinese brands that will undercut our low prices and we'll continue to lose money at an even faster rate due to the higher turnover.

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My HTC one X recently went into an infinite reboot loop. How I laughed when I realised that there was no way of pulling the battery. How I chortled as the screen shattered while I tried to prise the case apart. How I guffawed about the lack of sd card. How I sniggered about HTCs choice of mounting the phone, not as usb storage so that I could copy files from it, but using some Microsoft protocol which made it appear as a media player or camera for twenty seconds before reconnecting (this was before the reboot fiasco, when the phone was 'working' as intended).

They can't move downmarket fast enough for me.

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Chz

Sorry, are you blaming the manufacturer for you breaking the phone? You know there's a hard physical reset key combination on all those phones, right? You know that in the phone's settings you can *choose* how it appears to a USB connected host, right?

Oh no, wait. You're just a blooming idiot.

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The MTP thing isn't HTC's choice: Google did that several Android versions ago.

Of course if you have a removable SD card you can take that out and put it in a card reader, but don't expect the phone itself to work as a USB mass storage device whether you have a removable card or not, whoever makes it. Unless, that is, you can persuade Google to change their policy, but they are not famous for listening.

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I did know that there is a hard physical reset key combination on those phones, unfortunately it was unable to break the infinite boot cycle. There is also an emergency boot menu thing which was also unable to break the infinite boot cycle.

That is the problem with infinite boot cycles, you don't get to do much as it keeps booting every few seconds.

When the phone was 'working', I tried many times to choose a USB connection method which would let me mount the phone as a hard disk. Not possible.

Please give me more fruits of your immense wisdom and insight. I fully expect the following suggestions from you:

'Did you try waiting for it to finish booting?'

'Did you take it to the Apple Geniuses?'

'Did you pull the SD card out?'

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Bronze badge

MTP

I personally prefer MTP, it encapsulates the file system to the device rather than the host (usually the PC) allowing the device to safely use the filesystem at the same time and theoretically allow the device to use a filesystem other than FAT (and associated MS licensing), don't know of any phones that do though.

It would be nice to have the choice though.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm. I would have disagreed entirely up until last weekend when I replaced cracked screens on both my OneX and an SGS3. S3 disassembled very nicely all things considered whereas the OneX was a nightmare. 'Popping' a touchscreen out of a polycarbonate back case was clearly something that nobody was ever intended to do and neither was prising the glued-in battery out to get the main board off. My GFs comment as she saw the inside of both phones was 'Wow. Your phone looks very cheaply produced'. She was right and it reminded me of a cheap chinese no-name tablet that I disassembled a few years ago. As much as I've stayed loyal to HTC for the last 3 phones as I really like them, that experience may make me look elsewhere for the next one.

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Anonymous Coward

Samsung already makes mid-range phones sold as high end. High end != plastic.

The HTC One is a solid phone. It's a shame they're letting Shamdung win when HTC have been playing fair and Shamdung have manipulated the market by cheating in benchmarks and paying people to write negative things about HTC on every forum possible.

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"Samsung already makes mid-range phones sold as high end. High end != plastic."

Nothing wrong with either approach. It depends on whether you want your phone to be cheap and acceptable, or expensive and jewellery quality. The cost of making the phone feel better in the hand has to come out in the specification if the price will be competitive. So comparing an S4 and HTC One, the S4 has a very slightly larger display (13% larger area), is 9% lighter, has a much higher resolution camera (noting the implied low light benefits of HTC's approach), a faster processor, expandable storage (albeit less built in). The only real advantage to the HTC is that it feels much better (by a long margin) and reported battery life is slightly better (for the first year, until the li-ion starts to wear down).

At the moment the market seems to prefer plastic over metal in the Android market, although that doesn't invalidate well made metal phones for those that want them. You pay your money and take your choice. For me the non removeable battery and fixed storage are deal killers, but Apple have shown that a lot of people don't care.

The poor reception for the 5C says that iPhone buyers won't tolerate plasticky devices, the problems HTC have say most Android buyers don't like the cost-induced compromises of a quality feel. I would have though quality Android was actually a differentiated position that could be defended, the problem HTC have is that they are actually a volume phone maker, and the high end niche isn't on its own big enough to feed all the mouths.

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Anonymous Coward

Well they will have to do better than the slow under specced Wildfire S and Desire C budget phones they churned out to compete in the budget market now.

Hard to see how any budget phones can compete with the Moto G unless they make a cheaper smaller budget phone with some halfway decent processor and screen. Say WVGA and 1GHz Dual core in less than 120mm.

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Happy

Cheaper HTC's

As a previous HTC (Desire HD or something) user I would welcome that as I don't consider them as a premium brand, therefore if they build a decent phone cheap enough I will be interested.

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@ Zack

Before smashing the phone to bits I would have left it re-booting all night until the battery died. A forced shutdown due to lack of electrons moving around!!

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Re: @ Zack

Thanks, Nathan, but I did leave it rebooting overnight to make the battery flat and then later in the week rebooting on charge overnight to give it full volts. Neither broke the cycle. Nor did presence/absence of sim card etc. Prising it open was the last resort and I did look at a how-to for that, but still broke the bloody thing.

:-)

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