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Flagship failures haunt struggling smartphone vendors

HTC One Sales 2013

Apple and Samsung continued to completely crush smartphone their smaller smartphone rivals in 2013. Despite their best efforts, companies like LG and HTC launched huge misses this year that will continue to haunt them moving into 2014, according to a new report. Digitimes on Friday noted that companies like LG, HTC and Huawei had big ambitions for their flagship smartphones in 2013 but each vendor fell flat with their premier handsets, again signaling more struggles ahead.

LG had hoped to sell 10 million flagship G2 smartphones this year according to the site’s sources, but sales into channels barely topped 2 million. Similarly, Huawei reportedly had an internal goal of shipping 10 million Ascend P6 handsets but only managed to move about 3 million units. Finally, sales of HTC’s flagship One smartphone are said to have been flat since the handset launched back in March, though Digitimes doesn’t share any numbers to support its claim.

BGR recently called the HTC One the best Android phone on the planet, but our sources have also indicated that sales of the handset in the U.S. have been extremely slow since even before the summer.

“The centralization of smartphone purchases by telecom operators and subscribers on devices coming from more popular brands or carrying significant differentiation will continue to weigh on sales of flagship models launched by vendors in 2014,” the site’s sources said.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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