HTC today announced the successor to last year’s HTC One, which is being referred to as the HTC One (M8). The comment below may be attributed to Jan Dawson, Chief Analyst at Jackdaw Research.
The new HTC One builds on the success of the device HTC launched last year. Like previous HTC devices, the new HTC One features premium materials and majors on design. Apple and HTC continue to be the only manufacturers making really premium-feeling and premium-looking devices. The new device should be a great step-up for existing HTC users. The dual cameras give the company a hook to hang their innovation credentials on, but belie the company’s claim that it’s not doing gimmicks. It’s the sort of feature that makes for great demos but hardly anyone uses in practice and almost no-one buys a phone for.
The biggest challenge for HTC is not that last year’s phone was badly reviewed – it wasn’t. It just hasn’t been able to convince consumers that they should buy it. As such, HTC’s problems lie in marketing and brand awareness, not in the phone itself. Launching a successor, even with some innovative features, is far from enough for HTC to turn its performance around. Unless it manages to solve its fundamental problem with marketing, it could launch the best phone in the world and it wouldn’t matter. If you want a premium experience today, you choose an iPhone, and if you really want to use Android, you choose a Samsung Galaxy phone. HTC simply hasn’t carved out more than a tiny niche for itself in the market. In the US, HTC has fallen back into fifth place, as LG and Motorola have climbed the rankings. Less than 10 million people in the US use HTC phones, compared with over 40 million using Samsung phones and over 65 million using iPhones.