For the past several years, HTC has been known for three things: Killer hardware, terrible advertising and plummeting sales. When HTC delivered a disappointing flagship phone last year, the bottom really fell out from the company and it seemed to be in a tailspin. In fact, HTC’s revenue numbers still look absolutely dreadful and they’ve shown no indication that they’re about to improve anytime soon.
That said: If there’s a company out there that deserves to get a second chance at success, it’s HTC.
Despite being a financial mess over the past year, HTC has produced what has been widely acclaimed as the best piece of virtual reality hardware on the market. It’s pulled this off despite the fact that its main rivals in this market are Samsung and Sony, two companies that respectively have a lot more resources and more experience in the gaming industry. Yes, it had help from the team at Valve but this indicates that HTC can still make first-rate hardware even though its financial situation has been a disaster.
And when it comes to flagship phones, all the leaks I’ve seen of the new HTC 10 look very promising. HTC isn’t going to release a blatant iPhone 6 ripoff like it did with last year’s HTC A9 — instead, it looks like a device that bears HTC’s own distinctive stamp even though it does appear to borrow elements from Apple and Samsung. If HTC can make good on its promise to finally deliver a worthy camera on the HTC 10, it will likely be one of the year’s best Android phones.
And if the rumors are true that HTC is going to build the next three generations of Google Nexus phones, then 2016 would represent a legitimate comeback year for the company.
The question, however, is if all this is too late to matter. Trying to make it as a hardware OEM is a very, very tough game to play, particularly when you don’t have a components supply business to fall back on like Samsung and LG do. But if HTC can pull off long-term partnerships with Google and Valve, it might just get the second chance that it deserves.