HTC's 5 inch 1080p flagship device, the Butterfly (or DNA if you're in America), launched in Taiwan yesterday. The company's CEO, Peter Chou, was at the launch event and told members of the press that:
“Based on our initial feedback, the phone has become very popular in Japan and we have been endeavoring to boost our shipments.”
Jack Tong, the President of HTC North Asia, expanded on Peter's statements, saying the handset maker expects to ship a “large number” of the device towards the end of the month. Jack also said that HTC is going to tweak their strategy going forward. Instead of refreshing their flagship devices every few months (One X to One X+ to Butterfly), HTC is going to let their high end models stay on the market longer.
We see this as both a good and a bad thing. It's good because it forces HTC to focus on making fewer devices, but it's bad because HTC is putting all their eggs in one basket. But hey, if it works for Apple and Samsung, then why not for them?
There was also a mention of HTC increasing their portfolio of “affordable” devices. What does that mean in monetary terms? Phones in the $175 to $350 price bracket. Considering that China is buying more smartphones than anyone else at the moment, it makes sense to focus on cheaper devices.
Can HTC turn the ship around? We'll have to wait and see. If they can convince people to buy the Butterfly instead of waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S IV or the LG Optimus G2, then they definitely have a chance, but it's not going to be easy. Samsung spends more money on ads than HTC makes by selling phones according to independent analyst Benedict Evans.
That should give you some clue as to HTC's scale, or lack thereof.