Amazon has been exceedingly tight-lipped about its upcoming entry into the smartphone market. Rumors surrounding the “Kindle Phone” have been circulating for years, but a Financial Times report might be the most reliable claim yet that an Amazon smartphone is on the way. According to the report, “Amazon is working with HTC to develop a range of smartphones as the e-commerce company steps up efforts to compete with Apple and Google.” One of the sources FT was in touch with claims that the Amazon and HTC are developing three devices, and at least one is “at an advanced stage of development.” Another source says the release timetable is constantly evolving. Amazon has remained adamant on its stance that it will not enter the smartphone fray this year. HTC also declined to comment on the FT report, but HTC CMO Ben Ho said that his company is “always exploring new opportunities.”
HTC on Monday finally took the wraps off of its HTC One Max, the humongous phablet we have seen leak extensively over the past few months. Just as earlier reports suggested, the handset is a bigger version of the flagship HTC One smartphone, which BGR recently called the best Android smartphone in the world. One Max highlights include a 5.9-inch full HD display, a somewhat stale 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, an UltraPixel rear camera, a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, microXDHC card support for an additional 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a 3,300 mAh battery and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean running under HTC’s new Sense 5.5 software. It also includes an integrated fingerprint scanner for added security, though unlike Apple’s fairly elegant solution on the iPhone 5s that keeps the scanner inconspicuous by embedding it in the home button, the One Max’s scanner is a dedicated panel positioned next to the camera lens on the back of the phone. HTC says the One Max will begin rolling out later this month, though no specific launch date or pricing for the U.S. market have been announced. The company’s full press release follows below along with a video showcasing the new phone. More →
HTC’s disastrous Q3 performance has triggered speculation about how the company may try its luck in the Windows Phone market after getting clobbered by tough Android rivals. Microsoft may be considering waiving its licensing fee to keep HTC involved in Windows device design. HTC is also widely expected to finally pivot towards cheaper price points now that its premium phone strategy has seemingly gone up in flames. The problem with all this is that price competition in the budget Windows Phone market is going to be intolerable to HTC considering its quarterly smartphone shipment volume hovers around 6 million units. More →
Bigger is apparently better in the competitive world of smartphones. The size of the average smartphone has increased dramatically over the past few years to the point where manageable smartphones are now called “mini” by most of the vendors that sell them. As it turns out, Android users apparently have precious little interest in these smaller smartphones. While Apple’s comparatively small iPhone models continue to sell as fast as Apple’s manufacturing partners can build them, sales of handsets like the Galaxy S4 mini and HTC One mini have reportedly been so slow that the companies building them are now forced to rethink their strategies. More →
The HTC One Max ship has sprung another leak. Nowhereelse.fr editor Steve Hemmerstoffer has posted a picture on his Twitter account that purportedly shows the full specifications for HTC’s upcoming flagship phablet. The leaked specs are in line with earlier leaks we’ve seen and show that the device will have a 5.9-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a 1.7GHz quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.5. Leaked pictures of the One Max show that it will basically be a giant-sized version of its critically acclaimed HTC One flagship smartphone with the same aluminum casing and the same placement of speakers at the top and bottom of the front of the device.
HTC seems to have moved its headquarters to Egypt because right now it’s swimming in denial. HTC chairperson Cher Wang recently told Bloomberg TV that her company’s collapsing earnings were primarily due to bad marketing, a problem that the company is now supposedly fixing with its $1 billion ad blitz featuring Robert Downey Jr. If this “blame the marketing” refrain sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the exact same thing that HTC CEO Peter Chou said 10 months ago when he similarly cited bad marketing for his company’s woes. More →
Seeing isn’t always believing so for those who weren’t convinced by the dozen or so leaked photos showing a fingerprint scanner HTC’s upcoming One Max, The Wall Street Journal has you covered. The paper on Tuesday morning reported that HTC is getting ready to take the wraps off of its latest phablet. It confirms the name “HTC One Max” and also confirms that the supersized smartphone will include a 5.9-inch display and an integrated fingerprint scanner, though WSJ isn’t quite sure exactly how the scanner will be used. According to the report, HTC plans to unveil the HTC One Max on October 15th, though no details on pricing or a release date were provided. An earlier report suggested that HTC One Max specs include a full HD 1080p display, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon processor, up to 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM and a 3,200 mAh battery.
Things have been downhill for HTC ever since its record revenue run in mid-2011. In fact, launching the best Android smartphone in the world seemingly hasn’t even helped get HTC back on track, and the company just posted its first ever quarterly loss. The struggling Taiwan-based smartphone maker will take one last crack at reversing course in 2013 when it launches the much rumored HTC One Max, a phablet version of the sleek HTC One smartphone it released earlier this year. The One Max has leaked several times already, but newly published photos of the phablet from Android Central reveal Verizon Wireless branding, thus firming up earlier rumors that the phablet would launch on Verizon sometime in the fourth quarter. Other rumored HTC One Max specs include a massive 6-inch display with full HD 1080p resolution, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon processor, up to 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM and a 3,200 mAh battery. A second leaked photo of the HTC One Max follows below. More →
HTC’s ability to survive as an independent company may be past the point of no return. Asymco’s Horace Dediu notes that once most manufacturers start posting operating losses on their handset sales, they very rarely recover and usually get bought out by larger companies. History has shown that this has been the case with Motorola and Nokia, that it’s most likely about to be the case with BlackBerry and that it will probably be the case with HTC as well. More →
The latest quarterly report horror from HTC had a psychologically fascinating element. The third-quarter loss of $100 million was nearly twice as big as the analyst consensus expected and HTC managed to miss the revenue guidance it had issued a few months earlier. Why is this fascinating? Precisely because we have seen this same pattern repeat itself for so many times, yet it still persists. More →
HTC may have found an even worse comeback plan than building a third Facebook phone. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that Microsoft has approached HTC with a plan to load Windows Phone 8 onto its Android handsets as a way to give consumers more than one platform option on their devices. In exchange for loading Windows Phone onto Android handsets, Microsoft would consider waiving licensing fees for using the mobile operating system, Bloomberg’s sources say. Amazingly, HTC is apparently warm to the idea and is pondering the logistics of making a dual-boot Windows-Android handset. The fact that such a deal is even in consideration shows how desperate both HTC and Microsoft are to make bigger dents in a mobile market that has largely been dominated by Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy-branded devices.
Things are getting very ugly for HTC. Per Bloomberg, HTC on Friday released a horror-filled third-quarter earnings report showing that the company had posted a quarterly loss for the first time in its history. For the quarter ending in September, HTC reported a net loss of NT$2.97 billion (USD $101 million) on sales of NT$4.7 billion (USD $1.6 billion), a worse result than the consensus forecast of a NT$2.2 billion loss on sales of NT$54 billion. Bloomberg says that HTC’s smartphone business is getting whacked both in the high-end market, where its HTC One model was delayed in many places until after the release of the Galaxy S4, and the low-end market where it has considerably less presence than low-cost Android vendors such as Xiaomi.
They say that deaths come in threes, but we’re not sure they were referring to smartphone makers. Either way, it seems that HTC might be following in the footsteps of BlackBerry and Nokia as the Taiwan-based company continues to lose value at an alarming rate. Bloomberg reports that “the smartphone maker lost 90 percent of its market value since 2011,” but is still too expensive to be considered for a buyout or merger. HTC also has a consensus rating of 1.6 out of 5 from analysts in the industry, which is significantly lower than both BlackBerry and Nokia. More →