HTC “needs to do more”, establishes new “Emerging Devices” unit

by: Bogdan PetrovanJuly 22, 2013

HTC CEO Peter Chou Credit: HTC

Even with a successful One and a promising family of derived products in the pipeline, HTC isn’t out of the woods, as the latest financial results have indicated. The company recorded a massive 83 percent drop in profits year-over-year in the last quarter, and pundits believe that next quarter will be even more punishing for the one time darling of the smartphone industry.

To survive its hardest year yet, HTC needs exceptional measures, and CEO Peter Chou knows it. The need for a company-wide shakeup may explain the abrupt departure of several prominent executives since the beginning of the year, including luminaries like Chief Product Officer Kouji Koudera.

Now Chou turned his sights to a crucial market for HTC – North America. The company’s President of Global Sales, Jason Mackenzie will become the new head of HTC North America, according to an email obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Mackenzie is familiar with the position – he served as a president of the unit before taking over global sales.

Jason Mackenzie will be taking the seat of the current president of the North American unit, Mike Woodward, who will be moving on to run a newly established “Emerging Devices” unit, focused on “innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies”. Whatever emerging devices means for HTC is just speculation, but wearable devices and tablets are two areas where the Taiwanese company could consider making a move, before it’s too late.

It’s important to observe Peter Chou’s muted acknowledgement that the One hasn’t been, by any measure, enough for HTC to become again the force it once was in the smartphone industry:

[quote qtext=”But as you know and would expect, we also need to do more. With the success of the One, we have many new opportunities both to expand current sales as well as to enter new distribution channels with new business models.” qperson=”Peter Chou, HTC” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

HTC just launched the One Mini, a slightly more compact One lookalike, and is rumored to prepare the One Max, its first supersized phone, for early fall. It remains to be seen what emerging devices will the new division come up with, but one thing is for sure – HTC needs to fundamentally change something, if it wants to exist as an independent company a year from now. Already, some voices ask for HTC to sell itself, with rivals from China, like Huawei, looking like the ideal suitors.

  • Piyush

    Give regular OS updates , that’s all you need.

    • frhoward

      If that was the case Samsung wouldn’t be the king. They need marketing and more marketing. The Galaxy brand is so huge that if you ask the average consumer they would think Android = Galaxy. The first thing out of a person’s mouth when they see my phone and its not an iPhone is what is that a Galaxy? Im like really, with this big HTC logo on the back? Their commercials sucks, Samsung just recently came out with a nice/clever commercial showing features such as WatchOn where you can use your phone as a remote control. I have yet to see a commercial showing HTC One’s capabilities besides Blinkfeed and Zoe. They need to do commercials that shows awesome features that the phone can perform that would relate to the everyday consumer. Who cares if another company offers the same feature in their phone. I.e. (To the average consumer, only the Galaxy phone has the feature to control your tv) when that is clearly not the case.

      • Piyush

        But still after nexus , people by Samsung because of updates.Marketing is important but customer satisfaction is utmost.

        • SamsaraGuru

          Also making sure your products cause the end user as few problems as possible down the road by eliminating any possibility of a problem – like giving you a removable battery rather than a sealed one – also helps Samsung keep ahead of the crowd. The fact they make extremely reliable devices doesn’t hurt either.

          No, I am not saying the HTC One is unreliable – just potentially problematic and likely to allow “Mr. Murphy” to show up at the most inconvenient of moments and ruin one’s day. lol

          • frhoward

            Removable means absolutely nothing. i.e. iPhone. But I agree fewer problems to the end user is great and the most important in the end. But initially its getting your name out there and telling people what your phone can do for them. That is what catches consumer’s interest, and once you have their interest then you deliver with a problem free device. Clearly the HTC One is a more solid device when compared to the S4 with the lag problems faced with its UI. And their best selling phone the S3 to this day still has an issue where texts are being sent to the wrong people, and Samsung radios were notorious to be inferior to other manufactures i.e. Galaxy Nexus vs HTC Thunderbolt. I’ve had both and the Galaxy Nexus/Droid Charge/S3 constantly dropped calls where I would have at least 3 bars on my Thunderbolt/DNA. I know of at least 5 close friends with those problems. So while updates and problem free devices are important, ultimately it comes down to brand awareness for the “AVERAGE” consumer..

          • SamsaraGuru

            Very well put. Don’t you think though that no matter how much you may get the name out there that in the end the thing that will bring people back and truly create the invaluable free word of mouth advertising that all business chase after is a quality product – first and foremost?

            I am a salesman and if there is one thing any good salesman knows it is that getting the first sale costs you an awful lot of energy, thought and time and that no company (nor salesman) can build a business based on “one off” sales.

            You MUST get them to re-order otherwise you will spend your life constantly killing yourself.

            The iPhone became popular for a multiplicity of genuine reasons:
            1. It was the new kid on the block; there had been nothing quite like it before.
            2. It was reliable and delivered as promised
            3. It had a marketing genius (Jobs) orchestrating its positioning; knowing full well that if he did his job properly and managed to accomplish what he was endeavoring to do it would create a tremendous mystique around the device.

            A mystique that would then be transferable from one iteration to the next of the iPhone and which once people came to regard it as the “best of the best” would make it easy for them to recommend it.

            One must give credit where credit is due and to say he did anything less than a hell of a sales job would be, well, untrue.

            However! That was then, this is now and a whole lotta water has gone under the bridge since then and to say that the playing field has not shifted dramatically away from Apple’s favor would be, well, untrue!

            If I were HTC I would do what any good competitor in any field of endeavor does. You look around; see what the competition is doing and capable of; note what seems to be working, what doesn’t and then create a solution that meets the needs of the prospect base you wish to attract.

            I would build a phone that is elegant to look at; tough as nails; fast as lighting, powerful as a speeding locomotive and do everything my imagination could conceive of to make certain that once you had my phone there were no unpleasant surprises awaiting you. Now for me, I’m past giving two hoots about how pretty or attractive my phone is to members of the opposite (or same) sex in the hope that it may become a conversation piece that will lead to other forms of engagement besides verbal.

            Life is tough,and then you die, there is no time to waste on devices that don’t help simplify you life and do their best to keep it (at least for their portion) as trouble free as possible.

            Now if HTC builds a device like that and includes a removable battery and an SD card, I will give it a try, but if they think I am going to touch one of their phones before they do – well, they probably also believe that one day pigs will fly.

          • frhoward

            Now I have to agree with you on your points. Valid response. I do miss the SD card slot more so than the removable battery. Oh how I wish they would put that feature in their phones besides just the international versions. HTC does need to really innovate with something fresh and new. Boom sound was a nice start but more needs to be done. All around. Kudos to your points sir.

          • SamsaraGuru

            How hard can it be for them to put a little slot in? For goodness sake!

            Thank you – I’m in one of my expansive Nirvana states today! lol

          • frhoward

            Evidently extremely hard, lol.

      • Jaun Lombard

        Dont know why people thumb down you…In South Africa I don’t even know if HTC sells phones…I know a few years ago they did but think they left the market!

        • frhoward

          Exactly, I’m not talking about the few geeks that frequent this site. Sure updates are important but MOST consumers don’t even know the names of jelly bean or ice cream sandwich of android so updates are null and void. If that was the case gingerbread wouldn’t have reign as the king of android for so long. It’s marketing people. Apple and Samsung are the kings of the mobile industry. Why marketing and of course pretty good phones, but their marketing dept has a budget bigger than HTCs yearly profit. It’s definitely not upgrades to the software. That’s only important to the techies not the average Joe. People are dillusional to think its because of updates why HTC is doing so bad.

          • SamsaraGuru

            Many years ago one of the best sales ladies I ever met gave me some advice that rang true then and has ALWAYS proven true since. She said, “Remove the roadblocks, remove the roadblocks that stand in the way of people being able to proceed, being able to feel comfortable committing and the sale will almost magically take place. Truer words were never spoken.

            The problem I see in the phone market – and at one time I sold phones for a major carrier – is that almost exactly the opposite rules the marketing paradigm of the mobile market.

            They want you to sign away your life for two years. So what do they do, bribe you with a heavily subsidized phone that necessitates that they charge you rates that are – in my opinion – ridiculous in terms of value/benefit – when compared to those you can get with an unlocked, non-carrier affiliated phone.

            In order to keep you coming back, almost as soon as you get your new phone the drum beat of the new and better and faster and bigger device you are supposed to crave and start to lust after begins to beat like Indian war drums in the distance.

            Most of the people selling the phones couldn’t care less about you understanding what you are buying as long as they can get you to buy – something, anything and to sign on that dotted line.

            The average consumer – you are right – doesn’t know gingerbread from gingersnaps – nor care, because except in the earliest versions of Android only a geek can tell the difference or even knows how to use 1/4 of what is “in there” – to quote Clara Pellar.

            T-Mobile I think has the right idea and is doing its best to take the pressure off and perhaps by doing so they may be in a better position to help make their clients “educated consumers”!

            But, the problem remains, that too few of the usual suspects in this mobile phone game are doing anything serious to “remove the roadblocks” – thinking instead that the roadblocks that make life difficult for us are actually gold stepping stones along the yellow brick road.

  • dandroid13

    HTC never was a force, c’mon… Maybe in the US but that’s because americans are fooled by their carriers and the “press fanboys”.

    • Amine Elouakil

      are for real? were you around in 2009-2010-2012 feel like you lived in another planet, sure HTC wasn’t a force in the phone market but in the Smartphone one they are, heck they’ve been building smartphones for more than a decade.

      • dandroid13

        With an OS nobody cared about, such a force that was…

        • Amine Elouakil

          Yes only professionals carred about WM, but between 2009-2012 it was Android….

      • Guest

        Did you not have a Treo or iPaq. Guess who made those phones. Yes HTC but were contacted it out to Palm and HP. So yes at one point they were kings of the smartphone or PDA industry.

        • Amine Elouakil

          I think you wanted to speak to the other guy ^^

  • Влатко Стојанов

    HTC needs to update their devices.
    HTC needs to not abandoning their devices.

  • timothy

    as long as they never listen to customer, it’s hopeless..

  • OMGgary

    Maybe like HTC’s promises, they will be emerging from Peter Chou’s a…