With hindsight we can pinpoint the exact day when HTC’s demise began: April 12, 2011. That’s the day that the HTC Sensation was announced, the device that on paper was better than Samsung’s Galaxy S II, but in reality was an incredibly disappointing pile of plastic, metal, and glass. Two quarters after the Sensation hit the market, the Taiwanese handset vendor posted their first profit decline in two years. That slump is only going to continue according to Reuters, who reports that HTC is expecting revenues to be up to 36% lower in Q1 2012 than they during Q4 2011. The exact quote is:
“Despite short-term difficulties, momentum will resume in the upcoming product cycle driven by HTC’s brand strength, innovation, and design/engineering capabilities.”
This “upcoming product cycle” doesn’t really kick off until Q2 2012, because when you think about it, how many of the devices due to be announced this month at Mobile World Congress will actually ship before the end of March? Speaking about MWC, that Reuters piece suggests HTC will launch four devices at the show. One will be the Ville that we saw last week, which to be honest is nothing more than an anorexic HTC Sensation, another will be some quad core monster phone that’ll likely last less than 12 hours on a single charge, and the other two … we have no idea.
In our minds it isn’t like HTC really has to do all that much to win consumers hearts. Step One: Either kill HTC Sense or offer people an option to turn it off completely. Step Two: Introduce a new design language, because ever since the Nexus One came out two years ago we haven’t really seen a radical new look. Step Three: Follow in Motorola’s footsteps and come out with a phone with a monster battery so people can actually use their device for more than a day.
That’s it. Can’t be that hard? Right?