HTC (2498) is tired of being “quietly brilliant” and now wants to make some noise. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, new HTC chief marketing officer Benjamin Ho said that his company in the past hadn’t “been loud enough” in promoting its own innovations and promised to take a bolder approach that would attract more attention to the company’s products. As the Journal notes, part of the campaign will involve fighting dirty against its rivals — for example, we’ve already seen how HTC has started publicly bashing Samsung (005930) and its Galaxy S 4 smartphone, which the company’s official Twitter account described as “the next big flop.” Additionally, the Journal reports that Ho plans on “increasing the digital marketing budget for the company by 250% this year compared with 2012, and increasing traditional media marketing spending by 100%.” Which is to say, expect to hear a lot more from HTC in the coming months.
HTC (2498) confirmed on Friday that its flagship HTC One smartphone will launch in the U.K., Germany and Taiwan beginning next week. More extensive launches across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region will follow by the end of April. HTC said in a statement that it has seen “unprecedented demand” for its new flagship Android phone, which was delayed due to problems the company has had sourcing certain components. BGR previewed the HTC One last month and said in terms of hardware, it is one of the best smartphones ever built. HTC will see fierce competition from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 4 however, and Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil multiple new iPhone models this summer. HTC’s full statement follows below. More →
HTC (2498) has been on quite a journey in its short history as a company. HTC was founded in 1997 as a notebook computer vendor and then began developing Widows Mobile handsets in the early 2000s and launched one of the first touchscreen smartphones in the world. As the mobile industry continued to evolve, so did HTC. The company would later be among the earliest Android adopters and it produced the first Google (GOOG)-powered smartphone, the HTC Dream. HTC’s EVO 4G was the first 4G smartphone to be released in the U.S. and the Thunderbolt was the country’s first LTE phone. HTC peaked as shares of the company’s stock rose to all time highs in the spring of 2011, however things took a turn toward the end of 2011 and the company still hasn’t recovered. More →
HTC (2498) has a lot riding on its next-generation flagship HTC One smartphone, but the company confirmed on Tuesday that the handset’s launch has been delayed. Multiple HTC executives confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the HTC One will not launch on schedule, citing component sourcing issues as the reason for the delay. ”The company has a problem managing its component suppliers as it has changed its order forecasts drastically and frequently following last year’s unexpected slump in shipments,” an unnamed HTC executive told the Journal. “HTC has had difficulty in securing adequate camera components as it is no longer a tier-one customer.” HTC’s marketing chief Benjamin Ho added that HTC expects to start filling preorders by the end of March, with a wider launch to follow “as we approach April.”
You really can’t blame HTC (2498) for being frustrated right now. The company clearly put a lot of thought and effort into crafting its HTC One flagship smartphone, which not only features an eye-catching 4.7-inch full-HD display with a pixel density of 468 ppi, but also comes with a high-quality aluminum unibody design and a host of new features intended to improve its oft-criticized Sense Android skin. But despite all of this hard work, the company has once again been pushed aside by yet another plastic Samsung (005930) slab that will likely outsell the HTC One by tens of millions of units. More →
As HTC’s (2498) struggles continue, the company is seemingly getting to the point where anything goes. Executives at global smartphone companies often tiptoe around questions and choose their words carefully when discussing rivals, but it looks like HTC executives in the U.S. have been given the green light to let loose on the company’s biggest rival, Samsung (005930). HTC president Jason MacKenzie was quoted last week as saying aspects of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 unveiling were embarrassing, and now HTC’s North American boss Mike Woodward has taken things a step further. More →
Sony’s (SNE) Xperia Z was probably the biggest surprise hit of February. It sold out substantial early shipments from Japan to France and is currently dominating the U.K. smartphone market outside the Apple (AAPL) – Samsung (005930) axis. This has been a very painful experience for HTC (2498). The launch of the new flagship HTC One was recently delayed until the end of March and it looks like April shipment volumes are going to be very thin, most likely due to camera module sourcing problems. Wasting no time, Sony is now rolling out its cheaper Xperia models at lower than expected price points. The Xperia SP will launch in some European countries below 400 euros and the Xperia L will debut below 300 euros in Netherlands and Italy. More →
As anyone who was on hand at last year’s Galaxy S III unveiling expected, Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy S 4 press conference at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday evening was quite the spectacle. We were expecting a big-budget production, but we’re not sure anyone could have guessed that the presenters would break out in song and dance. HTC (2498) president Jason MacKenzie was watching the show Thursday night, and he had some choice comments when asked how he felt about the unveiling of his chief rival’s new flagship smartphone. More →
Verizon (VZ) was suspiciously absent from HTC’s (2498) One press conference last month. The flagship smartphone is scheduled to arrive on AT&T (T), Sprint (S) and T-Mobile at the end of the month, and now the latest rumor suggests Verizon will offer the handset later this year. According to AllThingsD, the HTC One will launch on Verizon “a month or two” after its competitors, though it is unclear if the phone will be the same handset that will be offered by other carriers or a rebranded version, as has been the case with Verizon in the past. A Bluetooth SIG certification recently uncovered a Verizon smartphone with identical specs to the HTC One, and earlier rumors suggested that the carrier was planning to offer a device called the DROID DNA Plus, which many had speculated would be a rebranded version of HTC’s latest smartphone.
The latest setback for the new HTC (2498) flagship model is the announcement by UK retailer Clove about the device’s British launch getting delayed from March 15th to March 29th. This come after a long series of brokerage research notes discussing the component sourcing problems HTC is having. It has seemed clear for months that early volumes of the HTC One are going to be thin through April; but it now looks as though March shipments could be minuscule. More →
During its press conference in February, HTC (2498) failed to announce a release date for the HTC One. It was previously rumored that the company’s flagship smartphone would launch on March 15th, however a new report claims the phone’s release has been delayed until later this month. According to phone retailer Clove, the HTC One has been “officially” delayed in the United Kingdom until March 29th. An HTC spokesperson confirmed to BGR that the company “will start fulfilling pre-orders by end March in certain markets and will roll out to more markets as we approach April.” HTC’s new flagship smartphone is equipped with a 4.7-inch full HD display, a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and a new “Ultrapixel” rear camera. BGR’s full review of the HTC One will be published in the coming days.
Does the world really want a “Facebook (FB) Phone?” Probably not, but that apparently isn’t going to stop HTC (2498) from delivering one. UnwiredView’s evleaks has posted a set of specifications that are purportedly for the HTC Myst, a yet-to-be-announced smartphone that is centered around Facebook. In case you don’t remember, HTC has tried something like this back in 2011 with the ill-fated HTC Status smartphone that had a dedicated Facebook button and that looked like a rejected BlackBerry (BBRY) design concept from around 2006. The HTC Myst will reportedly be somewhat more like a modern smartphone, however, with a 4.3-inch touch display with a resolution of 320 pixels per inch, a MSM8960 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera. While these aren’t exactly high-end specs, it’s unlikely that HTC is going to push the Myst as a premium device, especially since it sold the HTC Status for a mere $50 with a two-year agreement from AT&T (T).
HTC’s (2498) share price dove 6% yesterday as investors fretted over whether February revenue might drop below NT$12 billion. Well, it did. In fact, it plunged all the way to NT$11.37 billion. This was a -27% decline compared to January… and January revenue was down -28% from December. That January tumble was a pretty normal seasonal drop, but this February decline definitely isn’t. As a sign of that, HTC’s January revenue was down only -7% year-on-year — meanwhile, February sales were down -44%. More →