HTC has reported that it’s newest strategy for growth is discontinuing models to focus on high-end devices like the HTC One M9. They’ve also suggested this week that they’ll be cutting a “significant” number of jobs in light of recent financial results. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that HTC isn’t doing as well as they did in their smartphone-selling hayday, but in light of their recent success in the high-end segments of markets like India, they’re going the one-way route.
HTC seems to be unable to decide what’s best for itself. While the market changes and different sorts of devices are always going to be rolling with the trends, HTC’s core strategy has changed far more drastically than any other similar company over the past several years. Publicly, at least.
Back in January of 2012 it was apparent that HTC had far too many phones on the market. Just look at that strange stack!
It was then that HTC’s UK chief Phil Robertson suggested that HTC wanted “to create more of a ‘hero’ approach. We make great phones, but it is hard to do that when the portfolio is spread too much.”
By October we were asking “What happened to the HTC Hero Device strategy?” It appeared to have fallen to the wayside.
Fast-forward to February of 2013, HTC suggested that they’d be
Now here in August of 2015 HTC suggests with Reuters that they will “discontinue models as part of [their] strategy to focus on high-end devices” (Reuters’ words via earnings call with HTC).
HTC makes great phones. The entire time they’ve made hardware, it’s difficult to find an instance of a reviewer or analyst suggesting HTC makes anything but high-quality hardware.
They’ve found big momentum in attacking the VR market with the HTC VIVE, a device made for Valve. It’s exciting and new! It’s not a smartphone!
It could be that HTC’s best way to focus and make the best of what they’ve got is to stop attempting to compete directly with companies like Samsung and Apple and start doing two things:
1. Lower production numbers with higher quality devices. Wide release areas, high quality devices, low numbers of devices for sale.
2. Hitting new markets where the company would have no equal. Jumping in on VR with a headset made in collaboration with Valve was a fantastic example of this.
If HTC can focus on their hardware prowess instead of appearing to chase other companies in their chosen fields of battle, they’ll return to a place of power. They’ll become known again as the elite hardware manufacturer they once were.