Nokia has been hammering HTC with lawsuits in a variety of markets, with meager results. The rather narrow sales injunction against the HTC One mini was recently overturned by an appellate court in the United Kingdom. But hope springs eternal because Nokia has now finally landed a broad patent win against HTC. More →
It happened again — a handset sales injunction resulting from a patent infringement ruling has been overturned. This time the drama played out in the UK, where Nokia’s attack on HTC led to the sales injunction of the HTC One mini handset. And like clockwork, the sales ban was stayed by the Court of Appeals, allowing HTC to continue One mini sales. Such as they are. We have seen the same minuet danced across various continents, perhaps most visibly in the U.S. market, where Samsung and Apple are locked in an eternal and pointless battle. Samsung is trying to get ITC to slap sales injunctions on various iPhone models and Apple is doing the same to Samsung’s Galaxy range. More →
The shockingly weak sales of LG’s flagship G2 smartphone have wider industry implications. The company moved only 2.3 million units of its flagship model during its launch quarter, missing its already lowballed 3 million unit target by more than 20%. The context here is that Samsung shipped 10 million units of its latest Galaxy S model in just one month, vaulting to 20 million units in two months. Samsung is now in the position where it is outselling what was once its close rival by more than 10 to one during their respective flagship smartphone launch quarters. More →
In a bid to increase sales of its flagship handset this Christmas, HTC has kicked off a special promotion in the U.S., offering buyers the option of purchasing an unlocked 32GB HTC One smartphone for $0 down followed by 24 monthly interest-free payments of $25. In two years, buyers qualifying for the offer would only pay for the cost of the handset, whose listed price is $599. However, depending on credit checks, not all applicants will be able to take advantage of the interest-free financing offer and some buyers may end up getting different financing terms, based on their creditworthiness. More →
Remember the ruling from Tuesday morning that threatened to take the HTC One off the market in the United Kingdom? It turns out that Judge Richard Arnold might have also let slip the release date of the HTC One sequel while reaching his decision. More →
Things just get worse and worse for HTC. Bloomberg reports that London Judge Richard Arnold has issued a sales ban against the HTC One mini smartphone in the United Kingdom for infringing upon Nokia-owned patents. Even more ominously, Arnold ruled that a similar sales ban could soon take effect for the flagship HTC One smartphone, although he’s holding off on issuing an injunction so that HTC has time to appeal a ruling that will deal it “considerable” harm. Getting its top-selling phones banned in major markets is just about the last thing that HTC needs right now since it’s already dealing with quarterly losses of $100 million and employees who have allegedly been stealing its trade secrets and selling them to a municipal government in China.
2012 was a bad year for HTC, 2013 has been even worse and 2014 may be the worst yet. Focus Taiwan points us to a recent research note from Morgan Stanley that projects HTC’s smartphone shipments will fall by an additional 33% year-over-year in 2014 largely because the company can’t keep up with Apple and Samsung in the over-saturated high-end market and because it doesn’t have a strong strategy for selling devices in the low-end market. This comes as particularly unwelcome news for HTC, which reported a quarterly loss of $100 million in Q3 2013 and has been seeing its employees jump ship by allegedly stealing its trade secrets and selling them to a municipal government in China. If things get much worse, then not even Robert Downey Jr.’s star power will be able to save the hapless Taiwanese company.
Despite the company’s denial last month, Samsung has been found by multiple reputable testers to cheat on benchmark tests. According to reports, several Samsung smartphones and tablets crank up the heat when they detect benchmark tests being performed. The problem seemingly extends beyond just Samsung though, and several other vendors including HTC and LG apparently juice their benchmark tests as well. Now, it looks like benchmark test providers are starting to fight back. More →
Every third commercial that airs on TV right now is for holiday deals on tablets, which are expected to be huge sellers this holiday season. But what about smartphones? Global smartphone shipments still outnumber tablets by more than five to one and smartphone penetration in America is at an all-time high. After this holiday season, it’s likely to be even higher. There are sales on smartphones at every carrier and big box retailer across the country right now, not to mention discounts that are often even deeper online. But price is only one part of the equation. More →
HTC on Monday announced a new gold color option for the HTC One in European countries, thus taking on the gold versions of Apple’s iPhone 5s and Samsung’s Galaxy S4. Unlike the 18-carat gold HTC One MOBO-branded device that costs $4,500 and was first shown about a month ago, the new HTC One handset only comes with a gold paint job and is just one of many color options for the HTC One including silver, black, red and blue. More →
The HTC One is one of 2013′s best smartphones and it looks like the sequel will be even better. Nowhereelse.fr editor Steve Hemmerstoffer has posted a new AnTuTu benchmark that purportedly shows the specifications for the HTC M8, which is currently the codename for HTC’s next-generation flagship smartphone. Among other things, the benchmark shows the M8 features a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The one aspect of the leaked specs that makes us suspicious is that the device’s camera is listed at only 4 megapixels, although this measurement could be a reflection of the “UltraPixel” standard that HTC started using for its devices this year.
When BGR reviewed the HTC One earlier this year, we found the best Android smartphone on the market. Seven months later, the HTC One is still among the best options for Android users, but it’s missing Android 4.4 KitKat, the biggest update of the fall. KitKat shipped with the Google Nexus 5, and has since rolled out on other Nexus devices and even the Moto X, but HTC had been relatively quiet up until Tuesday, when the company finally shared release details for Android 4.4. According to HTC USA on Twitter, the company had to delay Android 4.3 for Verizon Wireless customers, but this “does not impact delivery of 4.4 by end of January – still on track.” It looks like the wait is nearly over for KitKat on the HTC One — HTC just has to finish pushing out the final Jelly Bean update first.
Pound for pound, the HTC One is easily among the best smartphones on the planet. Back in August, I pitted the One against Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 and crowned HTC’s handset the winner. With a gorgeous design, premium materials, solid performance, a stunning 1080p display and several unique software enhancements, it’s no wonder the One regularly receives praise from those who use it. But unfortunately, the sleek smartphone has done precious little to reverse HTC’s fortunes.
This year’s September quarter marked HTC’s first ever quarterly loss since becoming a public company. HTC makes terrific phones and the One is its best to date, but stiff competition from rivals has proven insurmountable thus far. Not even Iron Man has been able to help the struggling smartphone maker as Apple and Samsung continue to lob billion-dollar marketing campaigns at consumers around the world.
What on Earth is HTC going to do to turn things around?
It’s going to launch a gigantic phablet. More →