Do you Remember HTC Phones?
There Mobile was more popular than Apple at one time. At one time, 67% of mobiles in the market were HTC.
They made the first android mobile in the world. They even designed Google’s nexus mobiles.
But we don’t hear about them anymore. The last HTC mobile was released back in May 2018. So what really happened?
This is the story of the rise & fall of HTC!
HTC (High-Tech Corporation) was co-founded in 1997 by Cher Wang. HTC was a Notebook Computer manufacturer at first. But soon they into the Mobile Business.
In 1998, HTC launched the world’s first touch & wireless handheld devices.
In 2004, Peter Chou became the new CEO of the company. The same year HTC made the first smartphone with a keyboard. HTC was ahead of its time with its design & innovation.
In 2008, HTC launched world first android device. It was called the HTC Dream. Soon HTC released the first American 4g smartphone. The HTC EVO 4G.
Then they went on to design Google’s first hardware phone. The Nexus 1.
HTC CEO, Peter Chou was a perfectionist. He would sit with a tray full of phones and check every feature of all the phones. He turned HTC into the number 1 Mobile brand in the world.
HTC introduced the first smartphone with Metal Body. Yes, that’s right! Apple was not the first phone with a metal body. Apple had just copied HTC’s Idea. As we said HTC was way ahead of the time.
The reason behind HTC’s success was its “Great Hardware”!. The devices were well-proportioned & designed. They lasted longer than other devices in the market. Other smartphones in the market were just made of plastic at that time.
Secondly, Their phone had better software design compared to other phones. They were the best selling phone brand in the world.
But everything changed when Samsung entered the game. Samsung began flooding the android market with new mobiles after mobiles. The Galaxy S series was launched. HTC & SAMSUNG both began to release phones after phones. But Samsung’s marketing budget & strategy was better.
Peter Chou was not good at communication. He didn’t believe much in marketing & advertisement. He believed that the phones would speak with its performance. The head of the marketing department of HTC had resigned in the meantime. HTC didn’t change their way of business. They became more focused on acquiring other businesses than focusing on their phones.
Samsung took this advantage… They made android mobile one after another.
While Samsung was making mobiles after new mobiles HTC was busy making some bad investments. First, HTC bought S3 graphics, a pc manufacturer for $300 Million. S3 was of no good for HTC. The deal failed to create any new hardware for HTC phones.
In 2011, HTC took 51% stakes of Beats Electronics for $300 Million. 2 years later they sold it for $356 Million. Just a year later Apple bought Beats for $3 Billion. So another loss for HTC there.
While HTC was busy making these bad deals, Apple & Samsung took over the market. Apple’s sales grew 200% within a year. Samsung’s sales grew by 300%. While HTC’s growth was just 17%.
Peter Chou’s biggest mistake was their dull marketing & advertising strategy. The naming of HTC phones was bizarre at the same time.
While Samsung was launching products named Galaxy HTC was launching HTC ChaCha, HTC Salsa, etc.
For example, HTC launched two different android mobiles with the same, “HTC One”. Their mobiles were great, but they failed in marketing & Peter Chou was too ignorant.
Soon, HTC became a name rarely hard in the market. In 2015, HTC’s share price decreased by 60%. Cher Wang was reappointed as the CEO of the company. HTC needed a new direction, they knew that they had lost the mobile market.
So, HTC started manufacturing VR headsets from 2016. In 2017, Google bought half of HTC’s research & design team for $1.1 Billion.
In 2018, HTC fired 1500 employees to save money. In 2019, Yves Maitre became the CEO of the company. Currently, HTC holds 13% of the VR headsets market, which is quite good. HTC has shifted its attention to Motion Technology, Virtual Reality & Artificial Intelligence.
So, Are we gonna see HTC again in the android mobile market?
Only the future will tell us…
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