HTC may have made the world’s best Android phone with the HTC One, but the company has had trouble getting the device to potential customers in a timely manner. In addition to the HTC One’s delayed release date, the device is now facing an injunction granted by a Dutch court to rival manufacturer Nokia, which is alleging that key microphone components used for the HTC One violate an exclusivity deal between Nokia and ST Microelectronics. An unnamed source tells Engadget that “the issue is likely to be a breach of an NDA between Nokia and ST Electronics as the phone maker asserts that the ‘microphone components [were] invented by and manufactured exclusively for Nokia.’” While this sort of case may be irritating for European consumers who are hoping to get their hands on the HTC One, Engadget helpfully notes that at least it isn’t yet another patent dispute.
HTC is rumored to be preparing to release a mid-range variant of its critically acclaimed One smartphone. Earlier reports claimed that the device, codenamed M4, was similar to the HTC First without the integration of Facebook Home, however this my not be the case. According to Digitimes, the M4 will be equipped with a “metal-alloy chassis” that is being supplied by Catcher Technology. The latest rumors suggest that the mid-range smartphone will feature a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and an “Ultrapixel” rear camera. The device may also include 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and Sense 5 atop Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Shipments of the HTC M4 are reportedly scheduled to begin in June with wider availability in the third quarter.
The smartphone that changes everything is now available for purchase. The HTC One is unquestionably the best Android smartphone on the market right now, and it is available for purchase beginning Friday from both AT&T and Sprint. T-Mobile will then launch the sleek new smartphone next Wednesday. The HTC One release comes at a time when HTC absolutely needs a successful launch to help stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, the One has just over a week on store shelves at AT&T and Sprint before Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launches and draws away the spotlight. More →
Wireless charging advocacy group Power Matters Alliance (PMA) on Wednesday announced that it has recruited Samsung, HTC and LG to support its cause. The group has a long list of members, including AT&T, Google, Blackberry, NEC, Texas Instruments and ZTE. PMA is pushing a unified wireless charging standard and has already deployed with its partners more than 1,500 charging stations across Starbucks coffee shops, airports and other locations. The group has asked its device partners to integrate PMA-certified wireless charging solutions into their products by 2014 and AT&T has also pledged to embed the technology into its smartphones within the same timeframe. Until then, the group is working with members to “deploy PMA-certified handsets and accessories as quickly as possible.” PMA’s press release follows below. More →
HTC’s new flagship smartphone hasn’t even hit the shelves yet in the U.S. but it looks like the vendor’s next handset has already leaked. A recent filing in China’s TENAA database reveals an upcoming HTC smartphone dubbed “606w” that looks to be a mid-range entry to compliment the high-end HTC One. Specs uncovered in the filing include a 4.5-inch 960 x 540-pixel display, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and HTC’s new BoomSound stereo speakers. Pricing and launch details are unknown at this point, but several photos of the HTC 606w follow below. More →
Samsung has been known to go on the offensive with its marketing and advertising, but a new accusation alleges that Samsung might have gone too far with a recent campaign. According to a complaint filed in Taiwan, Samsung has been accused of hiring students to publish articles on the web that attacked HTC and recommended Samsung cell phones. The allegations are now being investigated by the Fair Trade Commission and could face an $835,000 fine, AFP reported. While the company hasn’t discussed any specific allegations, Samsung did admit fault to an extent due to employees’ “insufficient understanding” of its marketing principles, and it has issued the following statement to the media: More →
T-Mobile previously revealed that it plans to offer HTC’s latest flagship smartphone later this year, however it is the only U.S. carrier that has yet to announce a launch date. The HTC One will be available from AT&T and Sprint for $199 on April 19th, and while earlier rumors suggested that T-Mobile’s version would be released on the same day, a new leak hints otherwise. According to internal documents published by TmoNews, the HTC One will reportedly arrive in select stores on April 24th. Similar to the initial release of the Galaxy S III, it would appear that not all T-Mobile stores will be carrying the HTC One. The company previously announced that it will price high-end smartphone such as the Galaxy S4, iPhone 5 and HTC One for $99 down and $20 per mont for 24 months. The leaked images follow below. More →
HTC may have turned a corner with its latest flagship smartphone and its worst days could be behind it. Alvin Kwock of J.P. Morgan Securities believes the HTC One is the company’s “last chance for a turnaround,” adding that improved supply will help the struggling smartphone vendor see a sharp rise in revenues this quarter. The analyst upgraded shares of HTC’s stock to Neutral from Underweight and more than doubled his original price target of NT$160 ($5.35) to NT$330 ($11), citing strong anticipated sales of the new smartphone. More →
When a company goes from being a leading Android vendor to posting its worst-ever earnings in just a handful of quarters, it might be time to start asking some difficult questions. Such is the case with HTC (2498), which found itself in The Financial Times’ sights this week in an article which draws attention to the fact that the company’s top management remains unchanged despite this monumental slump. Contrary to its “Quietly Brilliant” slogan, FT calls the company “not so brilliant” as chairwoman Cher Wang, CEO Peter Chou and co-founder HT Cho have all remained onboard since HTC launched in 1997. The report notes that while some minor changes have been made, rivals including Nokia (NOK) and BlackBerry (BBRY) both saw major shakeups play a large role in their respective comeback attempts. Will the new HTC One find success and help HTC’s top brass weather the storm? The next few quarters may shape the future of this small but scrappy vendor.
AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) both announced last week that the HTC One will be available on their respective networks on April 19th for $199 with a new two-year agreement. T-Mobile previously confirmed that it would carry HTC’s (2498) latest flagship device for $99 down and $20 per month for 24 months, however it never announced a release date. According to a Best Buy (BBY) listing, the T-Mobile HTC One will available on April 19th for $249 with a two-year agreement, although it is unclear if this is the 32GB or 64GB model. It should be noted that Best Buy offers traditional T-Mobile contract plans and does not follow the company’s “UNcarrier” initiative.
Despite building one of the best smartphones on the planet this year, HTC (2498) still faces a hard slog in its bid to reclaim market share from Samsung (005930). And per CNBC, Yuanta Securities analyst Dennis Chan thinks HTC’s struggles are about to get a lot worse because it’s facing component shortages for its HTC One smartphone that will make it even more difficult to compete with Samsung’s looming Galaxy S4. More →
With smartphones, as with any category of consumer electronics, we have no choice but to accept compromises. This has been the case throughout the history of cell phones and it continues to hold true even with best handsets on the market today. Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 features a class-leading design with fast, smooth software, but it has a comparatively small display and lacks some of the great new functionality we’ve seen introduced on other platforms in recent years. The Samsung (005930) Galaxy S III is a sleek handset with a stunning screen and a great feature set, but it feels like a cheap toy, as does its successor. Nokia’s (NOK) Lumia 920 packs plenty of punch in a sleek package, but it’s thick and heavy, and it is missing a boatload of top apps. It’s inevitable — some level of compromise is inherent in all smartphones. More →
Struggling smartphone vendor HTC (2498) on Monday said that expects to report its lowest quarterly profit on record for the first quarter of 2013 as the full impact of the delayed HTC One launch finally takes shape. The Taiwan-based vendor reported unaudited earnings for Q1 2013, during which net profit totalled just $2.8 million, down a shocking 98% year-over-year, on $1.4 billion in sales. HTC pointed to the delayed release of its flagship HTC One smartphone as the cause of its catastrophic quarter. The company stated earlier that it had trouble sourcing certain components for the phone, resulting in delays. The One will now launch later this month and go head-to-head with Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy S4, sales of which are expected to total 20 million units during the phone’s first two months of availability.