back to article Samsung isn't alone: HTC profits take a huge dive

Troubled smartphone vendor HTC has released its latest unaudited quarterly results, and they're not good – profits are down 83 per cent when compared with the same period last year. HTC stock price for the last two years The last two years haven't been kind to HTC shareholders In the second quarter of 2013, HTC reported …

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  1. Dave Stevens
    Stop

    doubling the marketing budget

    Won't make any difference. They should try to get Apple to sue them.

    1. Shooter

      Re: doubling the marketing budget

      Actually, if it's not already too late for HTC, doubling the marketing budget is exactly the way to go. HTC needs two things: Get the word out about their quality hardware; and stop with the gimmicky, niche-market phones. The original EVO 4G was a breakout phone at the time, though sadly hampered by Sprint's choice of Wi-Max over LTE and other network issues. The phone itself was awesome, exactly what I was looking for, and the build quality was excellent - but the first I ever heard of it was a comment on this very website! I recall seeing very little marketing for the phone that I did not search out on my own. Again, no doubt Sprint is partly to blame for that, as they seemed more interested in pushing iPhones at the time. But HTC could have marketed the phone more themselves.

      The 4G was followed by the (gimmicky) 3D, followed by (gimmicky) Beats Audio, followed by the (very gimmicky) Facebook phone, followed by the One, with all the emphasis on the front-facing speakers (as if hordes of people were aching to use their phone as a party-machine). While there's no doubt that all of these gimmicks appealed to *someone*, none of them were enough to capture the attention of the masses. The vast majority of punters simply want a phone to do basic functions well, and one that will last them at least through the end of their contract with a minimum of fuss. If HTC is going to continue to focus on niche functions, then they can expect to continue to have niche-market sales.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: doubling the marketing budget

        I've got a One V, bought because it looked like a nice mid-range phone with a metal case, and reasonable camera/screen/audio. Unfortunately, it is a crap 'phone'. If you hold it at the bottom (normally) all signal drops out, including wi-fi. It also needs re-starting every couple of days due to it 'loosing' the SD card, or RAM getting so full a text message takes over a minute to load. A text message, seriously? I knew it was a slowish processor, so I don't expect any 3D gaming or whatever, but a text message should load instantly on ANYTHING!

        So, yeah, maybe they should have focused less on gimmicks and more on making the phone actually work. I wont be buying another one.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: EVO 4G was a breakout phone at the time

        Have to agree about both the quality of the hardware and the piss poor Sprint support.

        The EVO 4G was the first cell phone I ever bought for myself. The hardware and interface were great. It had the first logical and responsive touchpad I've ever used. BB and iPhone - on at least one character in the password the phone picks a character to the left, right, or above the character I think I'm pressing. I actually got it to play FB games at the time and was disappointed with the FB app. But since I didn't fully do my research I didn't hold it against the phone. What I was counting on was it having sufficient signal so I could use the phone as a hot spot for my laptop on my daily train commute. That's where it all fell apart. IF I could get a signal it was 3G at best, never 4G. And I live in the metropolitan DC area which is theoretically flooded with 4G towers. I broke the contract before the term ended and the problems were all on the Sprint end, not with HTC.

        I've subsequently replaced it with a pay as you go, cheap ass clam shell non-smart phone.

      3. Nick De Plume

        Re: doubling the marketing budget

        Actually, the HTC One is probably one of the best "flagship" phones out there. HTC may have hit upon something in their desperation: Good design/build quality (which they always were never bad at), in addition to good fast hardware/software combo (which was always a hit-and-miss with HTC). The _pretty amazing_ low light performance camera, and the frankly very good speakers is a bonus.

        I admit I've got one. I love it. And I am no HTC shill, having owned/long term used a Nexus 4+7, Samsung S2, HTC Desire, and a number of Nokias and Apples and Palms and HPs and all that.

  2. menotu

    Apple won't have a problem.. the iSheep are BRAINWASHED.. so anything they bring out , they will COMPLY &BUY....

    1. menotu

      love the thumbs down crowd.. just confirms the brainwashing aspect.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        On the contrary, it confirms that playground name calling isn't always well received. Especially when you have to shoehorn in the topic.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. boltar Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          "On the contrary, it confirms that playground name calling isn't always well received. "

          Pretty accurate though in this scenario. People don't buy phones because they need them but because other people have them and they're a fashion item. They're the male equivalent of a handbag frankly and its a bit pathetic.

      2. Dave Fox
        FAIL

        No, it just confirms that most people think that comments like "iSheep" are puerile and unnecessary!

        I'm no great fan of Apple and iOS devices (though I love my Macbook Pro), but the iPhone and iPad are absolutely the right devices for some people, my wife included - just not for me.

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Trollface

          "No, it just confirms that most people think that comments like "iSheep" are puerile and unnecessary!"

          I agree. Putting an i in front of a word to insult them is just silly. Better would be something like "Ba-a-ahpple users".

        2. Arctic fox
          Thumb Up

          @Dave Fox: Exactly. I tried to explain recently that I ran two smartphones........

          ......a Desire X and a Lumia 820. My saying that I liked both did not go down well with the "Cognoscenti". Currently (because her old Nokia had given up the ghost) my good lady has taken over the Desire X and she is very pleased with it. She also has no problem with using my Lumia so all is well here at Arctic Fox Towers. Indeed a couple who are good friends are very pleased with their iPhones with the result that we have had some hands-on time with the iPhone 4S as well. Very decent phones, just not our cup of tea. I simply do not understand the "football supporter" mentality amongst some of our fellow members of the "Vanguard of the Commentariat".

        3. Mark .

          "I love my Macbook Pro ... the iPhone and iPad are absolutely the right devices for some people, my wife included"

          You're no fan of Apple, but you take every opportunity to advertise that you have an Apple device, and how wonderful their products are... Whilst the OP was obvious flamebait, you do demonstrate the classic attitude that its users portray. Users of other products don't go on and on about it all the time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Mark .

            Yes, and some types of users just go on and on about how they hate Apple all the time. Compared to the insults that sometimes get thrown around on someone saying they quite like their MacBook is hardly worthy of ire.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: @Mark .

              Utter, unmitigated bullshit.

              1. DF118

                Re: Re: @Mark .

                That's nice dear

          2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
            Coat

            Selecting a system for the 'Users' needs

            May I humbly suggest this article

            http://www.osnews.com/story/27144/What_Users_Want_--_Selecting_a_System_for_i_Their_i_Needs

            The poster may indeed have some Apple Products. I do as well. I use a MBP because it 'works' for me.

            I have to use windows at work so using OS/X and Linux outside work makes a welcome change from fighting the 'MS knows best and you will do it this way mentality' of the windows environment. *

            Those who blindly slag off the competition are showing biggoted behaviour. I used to use an Android phone. (both HTS and Samsung) but have given up on them and gone back to a dumb Nokia. The didn't work for me. I accept that they do work for a good many people so I won't go around slagging off Samsung and HTC. Yes they deserve complaint (no updates to the OS since 2.3) but that is not slagging them off in my book.

            * That said, the quality/availability of many of the tools I need for work on windows still outstrips those for other environments

            (see, I'm trying to be balanced in my criticism)

            mines the one with the VMS doc set on CD in the Pocket.

          3. PJI

            Read and comprehend. This set of comments and plenty on other topics are full of "I've got a Desire/Samsung/Lumia ... and I'm very ...." comments. People are actually trying to set the context for their opinions. Clearly, you too have got a fixed opinion. So tell us why yours is better founded.

            We see what we want to see I suppose.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I find it fascinating how though menotu has been down voted, there are certain stories on the reg where any reference to iSheep or Crapple or name your other cliched put down, would received unquestioned loyal up-voting.

      I'm nit sure, but I think this is because there is a level of commonality or consensus as too which headlines more thoughtful readers find appealing.

      I think readers like menotu wander into a set of thoughtful reader/article comments and then probably are thoroughly bewildered by the fact their usual thoughtless "vote for me" comment has failed to work and received only down votes.

      But when you think about it, the very fact of this disparity would seem to illustrate there are headlines which appeal to the "rah-rah I love my preferred smartphone and want to bash everyone else's" type of reader. These articles probably with little real news or content (or news of a single data point that appears bad for the "hated" company), and that certain readers flock to these stories illustrates who the true sheep are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ghah! that's quite a reasoned and thought-provoking comment you've made there on the nature of El Reg comments.... but now i'm in quandry as the whether to upvote or downvote...

    3. Graham 25

      Apple won't have (as much of) problem because their profit per handset is much higher.

      When volume drops HTC/Samsung will suffer, Apple less so.

      Reasons for purchase are irrelevant.

  3. h3

    If HTC want to sell to me they should get rid of the Sense UI. The hardware seems quite nice and reasonably well built.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Yes, but

      I'd be interested in a Nexus type device with rapid update release, but the carriers would not be. They want to crap up the phone, sell it for 6 months or so, then dump it and never bother to upgrade it.

      The cell phone companies see the carriers as their customer, not us.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Yes, but

        So cynical, but oh so true.

      2. Charles Manning

        Carriers are the customers

        *We* are the product.

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      Or you could do something highly mentally challenging and...

      TURN IT OFF

      I get so tired of sense whiners. They were doing it back when the HTC Diamond came out. Turn bloody sense off and use another launcher, there's enough of them! And if that's too much to ask buy an iPhone, its more your level somehow - or an Asha maybe..

      1. Richard Jones 1
        Unhappy

        Not a Bl**dy Asha

        I was sent one tried it for a week, what a huge step backwards from a 6230i. It does nothing I need and probably everything that I do not want or need. It now sits on my desk and gets used once every 6 to 8 weeks as an alarm reminder, not as a phone. Useless modern junk.

        I have been forced to continue using my 6230i.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Dave Fox

      So, get the Google Edition? ;) If it isn't available in your region, get a regular one and flash the GE software.

      Personally though, as with Touchwiz, you tend to lose more than you gain when you go to "stock", but it is nice to have the choice.

    4. James Finnie

      Yup - just got an HTC Desire C for a tenner a month on Tesco Mobile with more data and minutes than I'll ever use. Cracking little phone but the HTC sense stuff slows it up no end. Flashed to CyanogenMod10 and now got a brilliant little pocket rocket. Well, the camera is shocking, but I've got something better for that!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That'll be because it's hardware specs are paltry. Sense is pretty lightweight (or 5 is anyway).

        I compared my HTC One with my friends low end Samsung, I get 40-70 FPS on the 3D mark and he gets 7-12.

  4. Charles Manning

    Huawei

    So Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and HTC are all on the skids and Apple is losing momentum.

    Said it before, and I'll say this again, Huawei are the pony to watch in this race.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huawei - others are all on the skids

        "HTC's fundamental problem is that you can only tell the product from a Samsung by looking at the back, so why not buy a Samsung?"

        Biggest load of bollocks I have seen in a long time.

        (Well since I showered earlier anyway).

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huawei - others are all on the skids

          So you can't tell the difference between plastic and aluminium?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

    I'm the reason these companies are about to lose money hand over fist. My current Android model is plenty good enough. I'm not swapping again until something really GOOD comes along. I'm talking Haswell chip, 1-week battery life, double the WiFi signal reception ability, etc. All the crap these companies have been selling for the last couple of years - huge fat phones with panoramic cameras and facial recognition, stupid money-sucking games, and non-stop Facebook and Twitter silliness - I don't want any of that crap anyway.

    Give me:

    1. WAY fewer dropped calls

    2. WAY longer battery life

    3. WAY better WiFi reception

    4. WAY better chip

    Then I'll buy a new phone. And you damn sure better give me a replaceable battery and a Micro SD card slot. Until then, my 2-year old Android has more crap on it than I ever use anyway, so I'm not buying a new one.

    1. Justin Case
      Meh

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      Me too. My Galaxy S2 does all I want. There's nothing any other phone offers that is a compelling reason to upgrade. Just a slightly better this or slightly better that. Better battery life would get my vote.

    2. Richard Jones 1
      Unhappy

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      My feelings exactly, why down grade by getting an 'upgrade'?

    3. Chris Miller

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      I agree with your comment, Andy, but if I may be permitted some nit-picking:

      1. Dropped calls are more likely to be a carrier issue than a phone problem, though no doubt some improvement in reception is possible. We need more complete 3G coverage, not new-build 4G networks that will be confined to city centres for the next few years.

      2. Battery technology has been stalled* at a few percent annual improvement for a couple of decades. Even leading edge stuff isn't offering massive improvement, and that's still on the lab bench and won't be in phones for many years. And all the other new stuff (e.g. 4G) needs more power.

      3. Absolutely, though I think physical aerial size may be an issue.

      4. I can't think why I'd need much more computational power than a quad-core 1.4GHz on a phone. Unless by 'better' you mean reduced power consumption (see 2).

      Overall, I can't see me changing my S3 until it breaks or I lose it.

      * The stalling is a result of fundamental electro-chemical properties. Whatever may give us an order of magnitude improvement in energy density will be physics (super-capacitors?), not chemistry IMHO.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

        Supercapacitors are basically charge separation devices in which the separation is not as complete as in rechargeable batteries, so overall I do not see how they could possibly achieve the same energy density.

        True capacitors have very limited charge separation (e.g. on polypropylene)

        Electrolytics have partial separation at an interface, with wet electrolytics achieving higher energy density than dry.

        Supercapacitors are basically electrolytics with very thin interface films and limited voltage.

        In rechargeable batteries ions are actually separated out at the electrodes and stored in a different chemical form, so the potential amount of charge stored is much higher than for the other technologies.

    4. Piro
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      I have a DROID RAZR MAXX HD for most of these reasons.

      It has a giant naff-off battery, a solid build, a microSD slot, and Motorola are one of the earliest mobile phone companies, so one assumes they know how to make a phone that doesn't drop calls.

      1. gisabsr

        Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

        Agreed. A dropped call would get in the way of MotoGoog doing this: http://www.beneaththewaves.net/Projects/Motorola_Is_Listening.html

    5. 7-zark-7
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      Funnily enough,, i've just come to the same conclusion. Gone onto a SIM only deal and keeping my Galaxy S2. Now its running android 4.2.2 it's stable and plenty fast enough.

    6. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      5. WAY better software.

      Frankly, I don't care how many games or other "apps" there are for the phone. Just make the essentials work as they should. The calendar and the contact list should n be two different and disconnected applications. I should be able to put a reminder to call John Smith at his mobile number and to set up a meeting with Jane Brown at her office.Then I should be able to search he calendar for the appointment and call the right number from the calendar. Or if the phone reminds me I am late I should be able to hit one button to dial the right number (I am driving and I am late - can't fiddle with the bloody phone to much, you see).

      In short, I expect all the stuff those Nokias 6310 and 6210 (that someone mentioned) could do without breaking a sweat. Whoever does that (AND Andy's 4 points, especially battery life) will get my attention - even if it Apple. A email client that doesn't completely suck won't hurt, but neither is it essential.

      So far, I am on the very first Galaxy S. Had my chances to play with colleague's and friends' newer Sammies and iDevices, saw no compelling reason to upgrade. The only phone I might consider switching to is 6230i, sorry. Oh, and my next phone has to be noticeably smaller - I need a phone, not a gaming console.

      Sorry, got to make a call now...

    7. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      Finally!

      I've been waiting for this news to break, if only to silence the tablet fanatics ranting about how the desktop PC is dead and tablets are the only way of the future. All I can say is, welcome to the effects of market saturation! Once everyone who can afford one has one, you aren't going to sell any more - or at least, you're only going to sell at replacement levels. This is what has happened to the PC market, and it's what's happening to the tablet/smartphone market now.

      The only reason IT has been a lucrative market up until now is because of the incremental advancement of the technology spurring upgrade purchasers. Contrast this with, say, transistor radios. A radio does one thing - it receives broadcast radio waves from a specified frequency, and converts those radio waves into sounds a human can hear. Thus the pocket radio reached saturation levels very quickly, because there's no real way to improve on such a simple function. A pocket radio from the 70s sounds much the same as a pocket radio from the 2000s, and does exactly the same thing.

      Computers, on the other hand, for the past 30 years have been able to do more and more, have been increasingly put to more varying uses, and it is this ongoing extension of their abilities that has created an artificially long-lasting take-up market. I recall in the 80s, using a computer as a means of watching movies or listening to pre-recorded music (as opposed to C64 SID chiptunes and Amiga tracker mods) was unimaginable. They simply didn't have the memory or CPU power. I remember the first time I got an mp3 to play on my Amiga 1200 (and that was putting my 68030/68882 combo racer board through its paces as I recall!), and it opened up a whole new world of uses that had been inaccessible to computers before.

      So with the increasing power of computers over the years, people continued to upgrade as new abilities were opened up by improvements in CPU, RAM and HDD capacity. After mp3 came avi, blocky and slow at first, but getting better until HD/Blu-Ray appeared. Then there was another round of upgrades to be able to play the new 720p and 1080p video, and a raft of increasingly realistic computer games (but can it play Crysis?!) Until now, 30+ years after the mass-market adoption of the first home computers, an application limit has been reached. There's nothing new that computers can do that they couldn't do 5 years ago.

      My own current PC is a 2009 vintage 3.2 GHz quad-core AMD with 8GB of RAM that still does everything I need done, fast enough to satisfy my heaviest demands, and I have no plan to upgrade in the foreseeable future. This is why market stagnation has set in - just as it did with the humble transistor radio 40 years ago.

      And now, it seems, that point has been reached with tablets and phones as well. At long last!

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

        A pocket radio from the 70s sounds much the same as a pocket radio from the 2000s, and does exactly the same thing.

        I think you'll find that a pocket radio from the 1970's sounds a damn sight better than one from the 2000's. They weren't so squeezed on margins then.

      2. Jonathan 29

        Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

        The new Samsung Note is likely to have 3GB RAM. Make phones properly dockable and there is a good chance that my next phone will also be my next desktop.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not in the mood to swap phones anymore

      "....Then I'll buy a new phone"

      You might want to add an additonal "feature", of not end-of-lifeing recent phones. I see the HTC One S has been orphaned by its makers barely a year after users were able to buy it, and HTC have form on this charge. HTC aren't alone here, and there's many others who saved a few bob by casting adrift the people who might otherwise have paid their salaries.

      Most phone hardware makers struggle with software, and the concept of updating it, ignoring the fact that if I buy a premium hadset, I expect to have that support for a while. I see that Samsung are about to end support for the Galaxy S2 with a 4.2 Android release, and no intention to offer 4.3 or 5. If you're relentlessly short term in your logic, then Samsung are right to save the money and abandon the S2 users. On the other hand, it isn't the sort of thing that endears you to your customers.

      The marketing droids in the various phone makers might care to consider that their beloved "brand" is only as durable or as disposable as the devices the name is printed on.

    9. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Re: I'm the reason these companies are about to lose money hand over fist

      No, these companies are the reason they are about to lose money hand over fist.

  6. goats in pajamas

    Remember when?

    We used to look at each other and talk to each other?

    Remember when the people you were in a room with were the people you were with and you didn't sit with one group of people and talk to another? Remember when relationships were deeper and more satisfying?

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: Remember when?

      Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

      I know XKCD is an instant "avoid" for some but I think this one might be relevant.

      http://xkcd.com/1227/

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Remember when?

        > XKCD is an instant "avoid" for some

        This not be 4chan, dawg!

    2. 7-zark-7
      Coat

      Re: Remember when?

      Pepperridge Farm remembers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    uSD and removable battery

    Strangely, HTC is only doing well in China, where it released a One variant including a uSD and dual SIM (alas, still no removable battery).

    Seems like the cloud mongers, the design before functionality crowd who hailed the "industrial design" scratch prone metal and belittled anyone who complained about the lack of uSD, weren't that hot on their predictions again...

    Hello HTC, how about giving us what we asked? I'd have bought in a flash a top of range android with uSD, removable battery, and dual SIM slots! As you wouldn't sell that, I got the next best, the Galaxy S4, and I am very happy with it, only wish it had the mentioned dual SIM slots.

  8. Dave Fox

    2 year upgrade cycle

    In my opinion, the manufacturers have forgotten that in many markets, there's a two year upgrade cycle if you want to get a subsidised device. Personally, I'm ok with paying retail for a device, but I only do so once every two years, sandwiching a free upgrade in between.

    1. HandleOfGod
      Alert

      Re: 2 year upgrade cycle

      "there's a two year upgrade cycle if you want to get a subsidised device"

      Subsidised? You're living in the past old son. All you get from the telcos is a loan at a moderate interest rate.

      After years of a company mobile and not having to think about it I finally had to get my own contract back in Feb. I looked around at the available tariffs, found something suitable and then got a bit of a surprise to discover that the monthly cost of the same bundle of minutes / texts / data etc actually didn't cost the headline figure at all but had a different rate for each phone that you could get to go with it.

      A quick calculation showed that for all of the top line handsets I checked the difference between getting the same bundle sim free and with the phone, over the life of contract added up to about £100 more than the cost of the same handset bought offline.

      Granted it may suit people to spread the cost out over a couple of years for a small fee and that's fine, but be under no illusion about what you're getting. It's a low interest loan bundled into the contract, a subsidised handset it most certainly isn't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2 year upgrade cycle

        "subsidised" is a US marketing term meaning "not subsidised in any way whatsoever, it's just hire purchase".

        Orwell's Newspeak was targeted on the wrong community. US marketing departments would make the MiniTrue feel embarrassed at its lack of creativity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: 2 year upgrade cycle

      Exactly right.

      How can a quarterly/yearly profit reporting model (ie a traditional business way of doing things) show anyhting but iffy numbers when in many of the major markets 18month and 2 year contracts are the norm.

      I can't be alone in having a slightly more "grown up" approach to upgrades now.

      Generally in a 2 year deal you're allowed to upgrade after 18 months or so. I can't be alone in waiting a little longer than the 18 or 24 months because I'm waiting to see what comes out, or waiting to see how a certain handset it on launch.

      I think more and more people are like me. They wait for a more compelling reason to upgrade rather than jumping the second their contract allows.

      How can _any_ phone manufacturer continue to provide numbers the way they did when a huge amount of people both already have a smartphone AND are commited to keeping it for a certain amount of time. This amount of time is much longer than the release cycle.

      My current phone is an HTC one X. How many HTC phones have been released between me getting the One X (I got it on launch day) and me being able to upgrade? (around a month or two ago, still haven't decided what to have, still not much wrong with the One X bar the battery life) Same goes for all the other manufacturers. Most have launched 3-5 phones since my purchase. Even If I wanted one It would have meant paying full retail for a SIM free (something most people don't do full stop, ever) or taking on a second contract.

      Or I do what most people do, wait out their deal then either have an upgrade in mind or hang around, loiter a bit and see what happens. I think I could have upgraded a month or two back, but decided to wait and see how the HTC one and the galaxy S4 did. Still like both devices.

      Anyway, the point remains that even If I wanted one of HTC, samsung, apple or who-evers last 2-6 devices, I couldn't really have one, and the same applies to most people.

      1. Ally 1

        Re: 2 year upgrade cycle

        I wish I could upgrade 18 months into a 24 month contract. My Razr packed up last night. Went into the shop today and found out I was 19 months into the contract and if I wanted to upgrade then I'd have to pay £100. I probably face a similar bill for the replacement of the microUSB connector which is broken. I now have the choice of finishing the contract on a crap old phone, paying to upgrade early, getting the phone fixed for the next couple months or buying the contract out and going elsewhere. I reckon each will cost me about £100.

        I think they will be losing a customer

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no surprise the high end is slowing

    You can get really good mid range android handsets for half the price. You would have to be bonkers to buy a high end phone for £500 when a nexus 4 is half that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no surprise the high end is slowing

      So true. If Google can do it with NExus 4, why cant the others.

      The marketing and accounting bods in the company have a profiteering agenda and want to be billionaires overnight ! Idiots.

      Just because Apple trailblazed with their innovative products, they could command a premium. If you want to compete with APple at Apple prices, why would people not buy Apple? They tried it at HP, RIM etc with Obvious and predictable results. EVen Miscrosoft is going the same way with its Surface RT tablets. Samsung S4 sales are tanking for similar reasons. There's a limit to people's stupidity one can take for granted. And then they wake up and go Huawei. ZTE way and the companies start moaning of poor sales.

      Real Idiots.

      IF Huawei, ZTE and others can pitch their phones at around £200 to £250 mark (equally good), why cant others? More volumes would ensue.

      ANd of course, copying the bad habits from Apple. No Micro Sd card slot and Remoable battery. Effectively, the phone dies with the battery and £500 down the drain!

      Wankers.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: no surprise the high end is slowing

      and you cant even get a white nexus4 now which suggests that the nexus 5 may be out soon.

      That might be a phone that does everything you need - like the previous version - and.. well what next?

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    People have begun to realise that sub £200 budget smartphones are pretty good now with dual core cpus and decent storage so unless you buying for brand sake (must have a Apple, Samsung etc) then why buy a phone that costs twice as much but isn't twice as good.

    I mean do most people we really need quad core 2ghz cpus in a phone? If you want to play 3D games on them then thats more about having a good GPU rather than the cpu speed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not a saturation issue, people are realising that Linux is crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's a very insightful comment. Well done.

      You may be interested to know Android != Linux. Android is a framework that runs on Linux, so unless you're running your phone on the CLI and not using any of the Android framework, you cannot judge Linux based on your experiences with Android. It would be like judging DOS based on how well Win3.1 runs. (Granted DOS is crap).

      As for Linux being crap, the fact it happily runs a plethora of embedded devices seems to disagree with you.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Don't feed the troll!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Don't feed the troll!"

          It's OK, the truth is toxic to trolls.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Linux is the kernel and there's tons of GPL software in Android.

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Must do better

    When taken along with Samsung's less-than-stellar results also released on Friday

    Seeing as Samsung had another record quarter the comparison is not just flawed but totally off. Please, El Reg get the monkeys masquerading as journos to think twice before writing such tripe.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung operating profits increased by over 44% year to year,.

    HTC operating profits decreased by 83% year to year.

    How can a so-called journalist put these two companies on a same boat and headline, claiming that "Samsung isn't alone" and daring to draw a similarity with HTC results? It is astoundingly misleading and stupid...

  14. A Butler

    Nokia are you watching let loose the Lumia 520 & 620

    I hope Nokia are watching the time is right for them to flood the market with the Lumia 520 & 620. These are brilliant entry level smart phone that are snappy to use and are idea for the new smartphone user that just wants basic, fluid and stable functionality; why do you think Apple are rushing out a cheap iPhone to market even they know the high end is saturated.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Nokia are you watching let loose the Lumia 520 & 620

      I guess that you aren't a product manager anywhere, though it might just be possible that Nokia has been listening to you for the last three years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia are you watching let loose the Lumia 520 & 620

      Have you not been paying attention?

      Windows Phone marketshare is on a slide according to ComScore, and nobody wants Windows Phone, even the really rubbish entry level ones.

    3. Antonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Nokia are you watching let loose the Lumia 520 & 620

      More like time to unleash "plan b". Sadly time is running out for Nokia.

  15. A Butler

    Too man bad low end android smart phones... old high end ones good enough.

    The best low end smart phones at the moment are the Lumia 520 & 620. No doubt when apple release a less than premium smartphone it will be good (probably not that cheap though), right now Nokia have the product they are just not pushing sales and shipping volumes. Why I do not know?

    A lot of people just want phone functionality, email, browsing and a reasonable camera, they have no interest is a lot of the current bells and whistles of the S4, iPhone 5, Lumia 925, HTC One etc. with the 2 year contract and expensive tariff. Also like the PC desktop replacement cycle, people are not automatically replacing their IPhone 4's at the end of their contract, as functionality it is more than enough for them.

    So the high end is being squeezed from current entry level smart phones, and the old high end phones (iphone 4, 4S, S2, HTC Desire).

    Interesting times?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too man bad low end android smart phones... old high end ones good enough.

      "The best low end smart phones at the moment are the Lumia 520 & 620."

      Says who? Microsoft or Nokia?

      The reality is there are much better Android jellybean entry level phones.

      Sony Xperia E or a Samsung Ace 3 for example. And you get all the benefits of Android, rather than the barren wasteland of the Windows Phone store.

      We can't even GIVE away Windows Phone in our store. The stockroom is full of them gather dust. I would also bet money that Mirosoft and Nokia count them as "sold" on their earnings reports.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Too man bad low end android smart phones... old high end ones good enough.

        "Says who? Microsoft or Nokia? The reality is there are much better Android jellybean entry level phones."

        Says who? Samsung or Google?

        Actually I love Android (although I've only experience of high end devices - the low end really do look terrible, some even still with lower resolutions than my 5 year old Nokia 5800), but I'm amused that you criticise the OP for stating his opinion with "says who", but then you come back stating opinion as fact too.

        "We can't even GIVE away Windows Phone in our store. The stockroom is full of them gather dust. I would also bet money that Mirosoft and Nokia count them as "sold" on their earnings reports."

        Yes funny that, their earnings would report how many they'd sold. This is typically the difference between shipped and sold, and all manufacturers count how many they shipped, so MS or Nokia wouldn't be doing anything unhanded. But, if you prefer to go by sales, you can look up those stats too. Actual evidence, much better than anonymous single anecdotes.

        And if your store really is continuing to buy more phones that aren't being sold, you really are being stupid. (And if you're not, then we'd soon see that effect in a slump in number of "shipped" devices, anyway.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Too man bad low end android smart phones... old high end ones good enough.

        I pipe up a lot on mobile related posts because it interests me personally but the OH works in the industry.

        She gets a new bribe, sorry "demonstrator" phone about every 2-3 months depending on which rep rocks up first when a new model is out.

        Windows phone is not as bad as most make out, but neither are these nokia handsets as good as many make out.

        Low or high end (the Missus has had that many Lumias, the bright plastic sharp cornered jobies, the GIANT bright plastic sharp cornered one, the GIANT non-sharp cornered one with a GIANT camera, the fairly big aluminium one) we've had fairly bad experiences. Lets just say that with most of them it's a good job it was only a backup 2nd/3rd phone. Not one of the nokias has performed well enough for her to reccomend/sell them to anyone other than those who come in wanting one.

        Both the aluminum model (which I believe is the current "flagship") and the previous flagship model (the one made from leery coloured hockey-helmet stuff) had let us down in some way or another within a week, even being used as effectively "data only" devices as we both have decent phones.

        (i forget the models, we've had a 900, a 920, a 925 and the thing that's a huge camera-that-also-makes-calls, they all performed similarly poorly so I don't recall which was which.)

        If any of them had been our OWN phones they would have gone back immediately. One I could forgive, but it was ALL of them.

        When I see people singing the praises of various nokias now I tend to conclude they don't actually own one themselves, or if they do then their last experience of android was on a bargain bucket phone they either cheaped out on or had foisted on them by work.

        To say there was no significant drop in contract or phone price (if we actually bought one) the difference in usability, stability, power and the general user experience of any of those flagship Nokia phones was no where near that of the high end android or an iPhone.

        Similarly the budget android offerings around now are vastly improved (if you shop around). If the "top end" Nokias we had were anything to go by anyone singing the praises of a low end models must have pretty limited experience of any current, good, android devices.

  16. A Butler

    Samung Ace earlier device was awful

    Hope that Samsung Ace 3 is better than the awful earlier ones. Also a neighbor got a low end Xperia and its a terrible phone he hates it; do not know which one I think its the Xperia E, so slow and so much lag between menus.

    In that phone store of yours is the Windows phone sales poor because of no appetite or incentives among the operators and staff to sell the windows phone devices? Some operators such as Three will attempt to sell you anything except a Windows Phone.

    I have moved a good few friends of mine from button phones to Lumia 620 or HTC 8S and they were very happy. Then again that is my small sample base....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Samung Ace earlier device was awful

      Samsung can't even release an S4 in the UK with a decent amount of storage. 16GB? this is a flagship phone, 32GB minimum please!

  17. Louis Buxey-Softley

    Have Samsung not just released 3 new S4 models? No SH*T saturated market lol

    My next phone is going to be a nexus device.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is easy for any of the manufacturers to get 100% of the market in the US as well as the rest of the world. You just have to make what will sell. Take an OS, put all kinds of spyware on it and have it report to the government. In no time flat, the agency that can utilize this information will have the secret court issue a court order requiring the carriers to only sell phones running that OS with spyware but not disclose that they are only able to sell those phones.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
      FAIL

      In no time flat, the agency that can utilize this information will have the secret court issue a court order requiring the carriers to only sell phones running that OS with spyware but not disclose that they are only able to sell those phones

      Because no-one will notice right? And none of your competitors are going to start accusing you of anti-competitive behaviour (given they won't know about the order, you must be doing something underhanded).

      Give the PRISM stuff a rest, yes at best it's a terrible intrusion into our privacy, but references to it don't need to be shoe-horned into every single topic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How many noticed PRISM and it was running and for how long? Now you have other governments had had their version running as well. It is more than just "at best it's a terrible intrusion into our privacy". it is 100% illegal and if it ever made it to the Supreme Court it would be declared as much.

        What you are forgetting is that PRISM is just the first step of a path of oppression!

        1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
          Facepalm

          You do realize that interception has been going on for as long as there have been "private" communications right?

        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge
          FAIL

          How many noticed PRISM and it was running and for how long?

          Very slight difference between that and essentially making it so there's only one smartphone OS though, the latter couldn't go un-noticed.

          It is more than just "at best it's a terrible intrusion into our privacy". it is 100% illegal

          What I said doesn't preclude that, had I said 'at worst' then it would have done. Come on though, be serious, you didn't already pretty much know this was going on? Or that communications of all forms have been monitored in whatever way is possible (or cost-effective) since the ability to perform that monitoring began.

          It is a massive invasion of privacy, and I'm always dubious about any claim that it's helped prevent attacks - the important questions never seem to be asked - yes it played a role in foiling xxx plans, but did it play a key role? Did it play a role that couldn't have been fulfilled without that capability?

          My original point, anyway, was that there's fuck all point trying to shoe-horn PRISM rhetoric into every available topic. It's not relevant here, and hyperbole does nothing but make the poster look like a raving looney.

          Oh and, I'd say PRISM almost certainly isn't the first step towards oppression. It may be a step, but I'm pretty sure there are a fair few things you could consider 'steps' that pre-date it. Thought you guys had the 2nd to prevent oppression though? (ignore me, trolling now!)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Very slight difference between that and essentially making it so there's only one smartphone OS though, the latter couldn't go un-noticed."

            Not really when the government has the carriers but the balls. The carriers don't want to lose those government contracts. The majority of the people just walk in for a phone. So whatever the salesperson says to buy, they probably will.

  19. tempemeaty

    Next drop...fondle slabs....

    Eventually everyone has had their fill of any given device. I think it's only natural that sales will level off under any decent economy but in a less than stellar one it leads to a drop. In the mix then the product finds it's sustaining level.

    * Of course if it's got Windows 8 that drop tends to be more dramatic than other devices due to lack of market uptake.

  20. pepper

    Still selling

    Strangely enough most of my friends keep buying HTC, and to be fair the devices are very nice!

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Still selling

      Agree. I have a One S, girlfriend Desire X (cracking little mid ranger - quite jealous she paid a 3rd of what I paid for the One S, which apart from a slightly cheaper build and camera does all the basics superbly) and two best friends have Ones (superb phones).

      Not sure how/why HTCs results are so bad.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Still selling

        Edit: Though I am kinda baffled by the over emphasis of the speakers in the marketing for the One. Its a niche feature rather than a USP.

  21. Shane McCarrick

    HTC may have lost their way- last year in particular- but they're back on form again.......

    I'd buy a HTC One in a heartbeat- I totally love it- but I've two young children, and simply don't have the cash. When my current contract is up- its on my must have list- that and an insurance contract! HTC have refocused and have a killer product, They got lost last year- trying to have a phone for every little market niche and appealing to every possible customer. This year- they're back on form- and the HTC One- deserves to win people over- I'm dying for the opportunity to own one. The camera alone- is a wonderful selling point- looks like the beat of the Lumia- hands-down. I want...... I can't afford, but I want.........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HTC may have lost their way- last year in particular- but they're back on form again.......

      " but I've two young children, and simply don't have the cash. When my current contract is up- its on my must have list- that and an insurance contract! "

      It won't be an ideal phone if you expect your kids to get their hands on it. Kids like playing games, and given half a chance will install guff like Temple Run, which subjects the battery to rapid discharge and high temperatures, leading to oxidation damage. This happens on all phones, slowly if you're lucky, but fast discharges make it much worse. If you can replace the battery that doesn't matter, or if you're prepared to dismantle your HTC after eighteen months.

  22. Spotswood

    THE One

    Shame, as the One is without doubt, and by a good distance, the best smartphone I have ever owned. It kills the S4 (and others). Disclaimer: I have used them all.

  23. Gordon Pryra

    No reason to buy a 2nd smartphone

    The difference between my old handset and my S2 smartphone was worth the price to me

    The difference between my S2 smartphone and any other smartphone is negligible.

    It would be like changing cars every year to get the new number-plate, nice but ultimately a crap expensive idea

  24. chiller

    old, crappy and happy

    My Blackberry Bold still does the job for me - great battery life, good reception, camera okay, text based angry birds challenging.

    I think about all the money I have saved not getting caught up in the 'must have' and 'upgrade' loop and smile.

  25. Jonathan 29

    What about Ubuntu?

    Samsung seem to be ruling the Android space with a vice like grip, but I think there is a good opportunity for HTC to be the go to Ubuntu phone company.

  26. Miek

    Odd that it has been nearly two years since I abandoned HTC phones for Samsung after their lack of timely updates for the phones. They (HTC) were only too happy to bring out a new line of handsets each month, but, wouldn't fully support their older models. Enjoy your 83% loss HTC.

  27. EmperorFromage

    Unfortunately rather well deserved

    My previous droid was an HTC One X which was rather good when I bought it, but had some problems:

    1) Did not wan't to accept US T-Mobile sim card (prepaid when visiting US)

    2) Firmware update broke Bluetooth A2DP for my Sony car stereo

    3) Later Firmware update broke WiFi channel 13 support (regional setting)

    4) Finally the GPS antenna came loose and navigation stopped working (well known issue)

    At this point I was not so much inclined to buy another HTC product, and no amount of marketing I am afraid would make me change my mind. In addition to this the bilingual text input was a complete mess as "å" (Norwegian and) would always be corrected to "a" (English), with no thought given to how far apart they are on the keyboard, and that the likelihood of mistyping is virtually nil.

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