HTC isn’t exactly in the best shape. Their stock price is off by 80% compared to its peak in 2010, the launch of the Sensation is 2011 was a train wreck, and while the One X was a great phone when it was announced in early 2012, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 stole all that device’s thunder when it came out during the summer months. So what’s the company going to do to turn things around? The first step is to admit that you’ve hit your bottom. HTC’s CEO, Peter Chou, spoke to The Wall Street Journal today about the performance of the company, and he said:
“The worst for HTC has probably passed. 2013 will not be too bad. Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing. We haven’t done enough on the marketing front. Although we don’t have as much money to counter [Samsung and Apple], the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.”
Dale Gai, an analyst at Barclays, says HTC is in a tricky place mainly because they don’t make any components. That, more so than the marketing problem, is what we feel puts HTC in a terrible position. Samsung makes their own screens, processors, memory chips, and many other parts required to make a mobile phone. The same can be said about LG. Now yes, Apple doesn’t “make” their own components, but they do buy equipment for their component suppliers.
When you really stop and think about it, what exactly does HTC do? They take Google’s software, Qualcomm’s chips, Sharp’s screens, and then slap everything together. As the rest of the industry tries to become vertically integrated, HTC is stuck acting like a company from the the turn of the century. Other than firing lots of people and going stock Android, we don’t know what advice to give this company.