There’s a phrase that some random Nokia executive told me a few years back that’s been permanently etched into the back of my mind: “More wood behind fewer arrows.” Since first hearing it I’ve seen it crop up in numerous places. Most recently at Google, who is in the process of killing a bunch of products that the company doesn’t really need to succeed, and at Acer, who said that their product portfolio for 2012 will be one third the size of what it was in 2011, but that said products would be much more refined. The clearest example of putting “more wood behind fewer arrows” was Steve Job’s return to Apple. He famously tore up Apple’s product offerings and made the company focus on delivering just four devices: a consumer laptop, a professional laptop, a consumer desktop, and a professional desktop.
According to the folks at The Boy Genius Report, HTC is going to do the same thing. Instead of releasing a new smartphone every 2 months, and then variants of said smartphones, HTC will create fewer product SKUs. During the first quarter of 2012 we’ll see just one new HTC smartphone, an updated version of the 4.7 inch Titan that has 4G LTE connectivity and is expected to launch in February. Then during the second quarter we should be seeing HTC’s flagship Android device, the HTC Elite. It’s said to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, have Beats Audio, and right now is on track to be launched by AT&T in April as the “HTC Congressional”, which is by far the worst product name I’ve ever heard.
While I’m hoping HTC is able to execute on their plan to focus on quality, I’m still not going to take them seriously because of the tragedy that’s called HTC Sense. If you like Sense, great, I’m glad you’re happy, but I hate it so much that just looking at an HTC device makes me want to hurl up my lunch. All I ask of HTC is that they offer stock Android ROMs to the enthusiast community. If they do that, then maybe, just maybe, they’ll get my attention again.