HTC makes great smartphones. Heck, the One has been among my favorite smartphones for 2013 and it shows what the Taiwanese smartphone maker is capable of doing. Yet, the company is down in the dumps as far its quarterly results are concerned. Its phones are not selling as fast as anyone would expect and it is not entirely because of the strange marketing commercials it spent a billion dollars in making. But it is not just HTC’s inability to market its products that is really killing the company. Also Read - HTC Desire 20+ launched with 48-megapixel quad rear camera setup
A big part of HTC’s problems is its inability to price its products right and then react to market conditions fast enough. I have ranted about HTC’s tendency to place obnoxious price tags on its products, only to correct it a couple of months later. But the problem is not just with new products – it seems the company forgets about the product after it is launched in the market. Take for example the One Mini, which now retails at the same price as Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note II. The Galaxy S4 got a massive price cut of Rs 10,000 a fortnight ago, but HTC has failed to react. The current generation One (dual-SIM), in the meanwhile, still retails in excess of Rs 37,000. Also Read - HTC Wildfire E Lite smartphone design leaks online
I am not sure if HTC is unable to price its products correct or it is unwilling to become more competitive at the cost of brand “image” or some such. HTC America President Jason Mackenzie recently appeared on CNBC where he proclaimed comparing HTC’s products to competition is like comparing a Rolex with a Timex. (Video embedded at the end.) Also Read - HTC Wildfire E Lite listed on Google Play Console
It is great to be the Rolex of your industry, but it matters only if you are making enough profits out of your limited sales. Unfortunately, that is not the case for HTC as Apple and Samsung are raking in most (if not all) of the profits. There is nothing wrong with the positioning HTC wants to be in as we have seen Apple do it successfully with its iPhones. The question is whether HTC can do it. So far the answer hasn’t been in HTC’s favor and no matter how HTC might think about itself, the brand is not strong enough for buyers willing to pay a massive premium for its products.
HTC needs to come out of whatever hallucinating spell it is under before it is too late. The pricing of the All New One will be crucial and we will come to know soon enough whether it is already too late.
Here’s the video where HTC America President Jason Mackenzie, where he says comparing an HTC smartphone to the competition’s is like comparing a Rolex with a Timex.