HTC Finally Realizes The Importance Of Budget Phones!
HTC is one of the few companies that has always dealt in smartphones. Even during the time when the feature phones were prime, HTC was a company that created high-end Windows phone. That was also the time when barely anyone in India knew about HTC. With the coming of iOS and Android the whole platform changed and smartphones become a norm. HTC rose on the wave of Android.
However, for the past few years, HTC has lost their way.
Earlier, they launched too many similar phones, which ended up confusing the consumer, and then they cut back on the models and focused on the high end segment only. This might have worked great if their HTC One would have succeeded as much as they wanted.
Unfortunate for them though, Samsung and Apple have made the battle pretty much between the two themselves. All the other companies are playing second fiddle in the high end. Even Nexus 5 is not equivalent to Galaxy S4 and Note 3.
From personal experience, I can say that the only HTC phones I see among my peers are those bought two years back. iPhone, Nexus (4,5), Galaxy (S3, S4) and Note (2,3) are the king in the market.
Most companies however have middle segment where there is most populace and fiercer competition. Here, with right pricing and specs, any phone can create an impact. The biggest example of this would be the recently launched Moto G, which created such a frenzy, that it was sold off in minutes from Flipkart from the time of launch. HTC did not create that net for themselves and are realizing the folly.
As the company chairperson Cher Wang told Reuters– “The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market.”
The company has faced very disappointing last two years. Where once the company was selling 1 in every 10 smartphones, it is down to 2 in 100.
The profits have plummeted as well as the share price for the Taiwanese company. HTC intends to correct this by launching a few phones in $150 to $300 range that should compete with phones like Moto G and Samsung Galaxy Grand 2. Another competition that HTC will face in this range will be the local companies- Micromax, XOLO, Karbonn etc. in India and likes of Xiaomi in China.
The company is very clear however that they would not go too cheap (below Rs. 10,000 I suppose). The problem with HTC is that it has lost faith of the shareholders (the shares are 80% below what they were two years back). This means that HTC needs action and fast.
Another year like this and it might just be too late for HTC and they may not be able to reverse the damage done.
What do you think?