back to article HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

HTC's financial figures for its second quarter of 2015 look horrific. HTC says it lost 24 cents (or pence) for every dollar (or pound) of revenue it received. After four quarters of slender profits, the business just fell off a cliff. The Taiwanese giant's share price has halved from £146.5 ($224.63) to £68.50 ($105.03). If …

  1. elDog Silver badge

    Perhaps nothing more sinister than lack of carrier incentives (aka kick-backs)

    This is not a nice market to be in if you want to have a love-in.

    All the carriers in the US that I'm familiar with want some pretty hefty fees to promote a fone/line. Being a bit lower than the top 2-3 tier means that you don't have much clout and can't buy/bribe your way into their marketing nirvana.

    Ah, the joys of pseudo-capitalism. Try to squeeze as much out of the fruits without being writ-slapped by some friendly court.

    1. NoneSuch

      Nice hardware, crap management.

      I have an HTC One. Great little phone with Beats audio and an amazing battery life.

      Their management does waste a lot of money though and that is a simple correction. Fire a few at the top and the rest should get their act together.

      1. Adam Foxton

        Re: Nice hardware, crap management.

        Amazing battery life?! Only in that I was amazed at how terrible it was on mine, barely eking out a workday.

        That's when I swore off HTC, despite buying 8 of their smartphones from 2004-2010 as better and better devices were released. My two Samsung Galaxy Notes (one either side of the HTC one) have performed better for longer. And have a removable battery and external storage.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple...

    People of good taste buy iPhones.

    The chavs buy Android landfill.

    Nadella's bought the single Windows Phone sold this year.

    No room for HTC.

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge

      Re: Simple...

      This would have to rate as one of the saddest attempts of trolling I've seen on these forums.You couldn't even get the icon right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple...

        @FozzyBear

        No, he has a point. Nobody's making megabucks from premium Android phones.

    2. Arthur Kater :-D ☺

      Apple users use OsX most of the time

      I believe you mean "People without their own opinions and taste"

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

        A friend insists on getting apple phones despite paying eighty flippin' quid a month on some saw-you-coming network deal. He also sold a 56" TV just to buy a 60" one. Those two facts seem to be in keeping, character-wise.

        If apple did a 60" TV on abusive contract terms, I'm sure he'd get one.

      2. Dave Fox

        Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

        The vast majority of Apple users certainly don't use OS/X.

        If they did, Mac sales would be close to those of iOS devices, but they aren't - not even close.

        I know this article is 3 years old now, but I doubt the ratio between OS/X and iOS devices has got any better in favour of OS/X.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/17/apple_ios_v_mac_sales/

    3. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: Simple...

      Sorry, but every chav and builder seems to own an iPhone, and is keen to flash it around like some kind of advert on how successful they are.

      They reality is, they are showing the world they are stupid enough to sign up for a £35 a month contract for a turd rolled in glitter..

  3. Martin Summers Silver badge

    HTC, quite simple, stop your phones from looking like crap after a few months of ownership, do some water and dust proofing, try and innovate on battery life, sort the God awful camera, bring back external storage and you're probably set. The only reason I'm not a customer of yours this time around is for all the above.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Hehe

      HTC, quite simple, stop your phones from looking like crap after a few months of ownership, do some water and dust proofing, try and innovate on battery life, sort the God awful camera, bring back external storage...

      Err... That is called Sony. That ship has already sailed and there are no tickets available. The range starts from right above landfill (E series) through midrange with M and SP and to Z for premium. What you wrote describes exactly any one of them (even the M and E). Including the battery life optimizations by the way (probably the most aggressive on the market).

      So just doing this will not be enough, it will have to innovate on top of that.

      1. fuzzie

        Re: Hehe

        (More radical) innovation is hampered by Google's roadmap of Android and their deciding what features become available when, e.g. Sony had smart wear and APIs way before Google introduced theirs. That left them being incompatible with the "standard". Likewise, Samsung's fingerprint ID.

        Anyone who wants to push the envelope has the dilemma of a) having to do the hardware/software all in-house, b) supply associated apps/SDKs/example and court developers, and c) having to throw it all away when/if Google decides they're doing the same, but differently. No wonder the OEM's feel between a rock and a hard place.

      2. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: Hehe

        "So just doing this will not be enough, it will have to innovate on top of that."

        It will do it for me and I'd buy it. I miss HTC Sense enough that those few things even if they aren't particularly innovative would bring me back as a customer.

  4. Stu J

    Camera

    HTC flagship owner for 5 years prior to this year.

    Now flipped to Samsung. They caught up on pretty much everything else (apart from audio), yet HTC's camera is still woeful.

    Audio, I don't care about - only use it when flying, and have decent noise cancelling headphones for that...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This year was a good year for 'flagship' androids. Many people seemed to be holding out to see what would be announced. Great things were expected of HTC after the M8 was so good, but they dropped the ball, got a lot of 'meh' reviews and the camera was blasted. Along came the likes of LG with the G4, great camera, removable storage, removable battery, reasonable software, etc.

    HTC had a chance but they missed it. They won't have the same momentum behind them for their next phone, although they might still be in the M8-> upgrade window. They had better make something good with their 'M10'.

  6. AbelSoul
    Headmaster

    Re: less than six quid (six bucks)

    Hmm... is this an error or a tautology? (anyone who isn't already aware of what a quid is probably also won't know that it does not directly map to a buck)

    Either way I prefer the equally erroneous euphemism for six quid, unwell octopus.

  7. paulf Silver badge
    FAIL

    Their (lack of) support killed my interest in HTC

    HTC were a very early yet clear leader in the Android market IIRC with handsets like the Hero, Desire and Desire HD, giving them a good lead early on in Android's life.

    I had two of their handsets - a Hero which I upgraded about 18 months later to the Sensation when it was launched (bought outright for £400 and £450 respectively). After 10 years of Nokia handsets (followed by one Sony Ericsson) I was keen to find a good supplier of Smartphone handsets I could commit to (while the iPhone was of interest it wasn't suitable for me).

    The Hero was underpowered for what it was expected to do but it was at least functional. Then the upgrade from Android 1.6 to 2.1 kept being kicked into the long grass until it showed up 9 months after the originally promised release.

    The Sensation was utterly useless and a complete waste of a large amount of money. I suffered from the random turn off bug (not widespread but I found various other users with the same problem) where the handset would just switch off suddenly and ungracefully for no reason. I never managed to diagnose the cause. HTC support was useless and I was glad to see the back of that handset 20 months later.

    In all I wasted almost £1000 on HTC handsets that were utter crap and that is why I will never buy HTC again. They had the chance to build a very loyal fanbase of Android users (in the early days people tended to think HTC Sense WAS Android) but through their own greed/ineptitude/dire support they squandered it and they're now reaping what they've sown.

    </rant>

    1. auburnman

      Re: Their (lack of) support killed my interest in HTC

      "I suffered from the random turn off bug (not widespread but I found various other users with the same problem)"

      I had that! Didn't even realise it was a bug, I had assumed I'd damaged it or wonked the battery somehow. Same net result - I also dropped HTC - but on the erroneous rationale that their phones couldn't take the punishment of day-to-day life.

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Their (lack of) support killed my interest in HTC

        HTC "support" initially thought the battery also and offered to send me a free replacement - but only after a had to throw a major tantrum at their insistence I pay for the replacement! The new battery didn't resolve it and from reading around the interwebs neither did the next HTC solutions of Factory Reset and replacement handset. There was a major version update and a couple of patch updates that didn't resolve the bug. It would happen to me mid-call, while using the browser and even when it was on standby in my pocket or on the desk.

        There was also a fix to a bug that leaked user info to HTC's servers without permission (remember that). Then there was all the built in HTC apps, not possible to uninstall and demanded every permission going.

        It is sad really, if only for the Engs and Devs that have/will lost/lose jobs. HTC had such a major lead in the early days. If they'd launched fewer better supported handsets (rather than the chuck handfuls of variants at the wall and see what sticks) and not treated their fanbase with contempt they would easily seen off the later challenge from Samsung (IMO). HTC failed big time because they didn't realise customer satisfaction was a pretty important part of being successful.

  8. Graham Jordan

    Long time HTC fan jumped ship

    My first Android phone coming from Nokia was a Desire. I was late to the smart phone world, I believe there were 3 variants of the iPhone before I dropped Symbian.

    The Desire was an incredible phone no doubt. Where it suffered was its space, or lack of it. You needed to crack it open and use the APP2SD thingy to really get the most out of it.

    I can't remember where I went from there but I've had a One S, and a One Mini at some point. Both excellent phones if not premium.

    I'm not one who's willing to carry a ridiculous oversized phone around in my pocket, I want something that matches my penis size... Small. Since HTC aren't realising a One (M9) Mini that's me throwing the towel in.

    Since picking up a Sony Z3 compact I'm amazed at the difference. They really have put a premium phone in a smaller handset, this thing is amazing. Sure it lacks the same sex appeal HTC One's have, and lets face it, they're bloody stunning, even over iPhone's; but the speed, micro SD slot, fewer junk apps (fewer, not zero sadly) and small price tag make this a hard choice to go back on.

    Sorry HTC. Unless you follow Sony's lead that's me washing my hands of you.

  9. nerdbert
    Facepalm

    Bloggers aren't everything

    There are all sorts of little details on phones that reviewers/bloggers care about that real people who use phones don't care about. LG's buttons on the back, for example, drive the reviewers to hate-filled rants, but most consumers seem to like them there.

    I'm always amused at listening to the bloggers go on and on about how great metal and/or glass backs are on flagship phones. It seems that bloggers/reviewers are the 1% of the people in this world who actually have a flagship phone without some case for protection. Sure, I know, they get the phones free, so what do they care? But the rest of us don't give a rip if the phone has a plastic back, because if it didn't come with one from the factory, it will have one within 24 hours of purchase.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm,

    After the EVO 3D... lets see.

    1) Insane ULA agreements. (Not only was android ULAs and the Google driver ULAs invasive, one had to deal with HTC's too.) I almost took the phone back after reading it. You are selling your soul... nothing is free.

    2) Lack of Support - literally NONE.

    3) Point of contact... none? So one has to go after HTC, Android, the programmers for the Apps that refuse to work or who wrote the drivers? Blue tooth pains too.

    4) Hardware, Crashing... Poor battery life. Slow...

    5) Firmware updates... They just stopped trying on the EVO 3D and ignored us.

    I picked up the flagship model and was stuck with it, had to have it fixed several times... ruined an interview trying to find my resume to send extra copies...

    BS BS BS BS.

    I may get flamed, but I went to a Lumia 935, which worked 99% of the time. The ULAs are clearly written and across the board. Most importantly: I can update contacts on the phone... and they are updated at outlook.com... no lost contacts or new phone numbers being overwritten. Cortana actually works. One drive, camera roll.. Bluetooth devices work like headsets and heart monitors. Then there is Office lens...- awesome!

    Much better service and only two people to go to: Microsoft or ATT.

    The Lumias are much more secure! (better than IOS or Android)

    Sure... the apps are a little lackluster if you want games, but I don't need games.

    Microsoft is not 100% but I trust them more, know I can get help and only really need to go to one place, the service is very good and my information is kept private... and the updates keep coming.

    Why would I ever want to wrap another layer of BS and lack of privacy with HTC?

    As far as iPhones... They seem to always work. I don't go that way, nor do I care to... but no problems with girlfriend's phone... although it is very under-used.

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