One of the biggest difficulties in being an Android handset vendor is how to differentiate your products from others that are offering similar products running on the same OS and often the same hardware. Samsung did that with it Super AMOLED display technology, which proved to be successful. But others, including HTC that is the second largest Android vendor in the world, faltered. HTC, which had a dream run between 2010 and mid-2011, realized it had way too many products offering nothing different from its competition in its portfolio. Its products lacked the USP mojo, the one big feature that sets it apart from competition and at the same time offer the best-in-class hardware specifications. Most of the products HTC announced in 2011 were mere specification enhancements over its 2010 portfolio, offering nothing exciting to the consumer. It did not have that ONE killer product like the Samsung Galaxy S II, which would have driven its other products. HTC’s CEO, Peter Chou, wants to change that in 2012. Read on… Also Read - HTC One (M8) vs HTC One (M7): Here's what's new
Rather than focusing on a big portfolio of independent smartphones, HTC has decided to have a flagship series that will focus on some of the key things that actually matter to consumers. The One series, introduced earlier today, is that flagship series. All devices in this series (currently there are three – One X, One S and One V) will feature the best-in-class camera technology with a dedicated imaging chip. Irrespective of the price of the product, all the phones will have the same camera capabilities in terms of how images are processed. Of course, not every phone will have an 8.0 MP camera or 1080p video recording but all of them will have better photo capture under low light conditions, the ability to click photographs while shooting a video and quick auto-focus. Things that are critical to users when they use the phone’s camera. Also Read - HTC One (M8) unboxing video leaked by retailer, goes on sale unofficially for $1,000 ahead of launch
All devices in One series will also come with Beats Audio technology. It will work not only for songs saved locally on the phone but even for third-party applications and online audio streaming services. In essence, HTC wants all its users to get the best audio quality possible. Again, irrespective of the price of the phone. Also Read - Can HTC go One better?
To bring all these elements together, HTC has tied up with Dropbox to provide 25GB of online storage free for two years, which I believe will serve the phone’s lifetime. It does not matter whether a consumer buys the entry-level One V or the top-of-the-line One X, everyone gets 25GB.
What does it mean for the consumer? Even if you don’t have the budget to buy the top-end smartphone, you will still get features that matter to you. For consumers with limited budget, it does not matter whether the phone runs on a quad-core processor or not. They do not want to control spaceships with their phones. All they are usually looking for is a phone that offers them the best camera or the best music or the best multimedia experience, without them having to break the bank. HTC is trying to do just that with the One series – offer the best performance in features that really matters to the consumer rather than chest thumping around town claiming to have the best processor (though it has that too) or the biggest display.
Hopefully, other Android OEMs will look closely at HTC and realize that giving the best features only on their top-end phones and asking consumers to compromise on some features if they cannot buy the best is not an option any more. This year will hopefully be the year when Android users won’t have to compromise on some features to get one feature.
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