HTC: Samsung “stole” burst mode last year, here’s our comeback plan

by: Bams SadewoMarch 11, 2013


Being down in the dumps usually is a good time to reflect on what went wrong. Talking to Fierce Wireless, HTC’s global president of sales Jason Mackenzie has this to say about the steps that the company should’ve taken in the past, and how they plan to rectify their mistakes.

The HTC One X, last year’s flagship model, was launched ahead of the Galaxy S3 with the tagline “amazing camera, authentic sound”. However, Mackenzie admitted that some of the One X’s unique features, such as burst mode, which lets users capture up to 20 shots in a row, didn’t quite register in consumer’s mind.

This was partly due to the company’s inability to effectively communicate the phone’s features to customers. “We’ve been too quiet,” he said. “We let Samsung come in and suck in our innovation.”

This time around, you’ll see a more aggressive HTC that wants to be more vocal and take ownership of their innovations. The HTC One, for instance, comes with trademarked features like BlinkFeed, BoomSound, and UltraPixel camera. Marketing-wise, Mackenzie said that HTC will be promoting the One intensively throughout the year, instead of just the first few weeks after its release, as was the case before.

The past gloomy year has been a wake-up call for HTC. It remains to be seen whether the new-found marketing vigor will be enough to lift HTC to the level of Android greatness that it once enjoyed.


  • update your old phones first, before trying to grab more money from us.

    • Well said!
      Like that Who song from CSI, we “won’t get fooled again”. HTC abandons people who buy their high end products. That’s the single biggest reason they are failing – they are killing their chances of getting previous customers to return and invest in a HTC again. All the uberpixies and trixies in the world won’t matter when they are behaving this way.

      • Natiboss513

        Not sure what region of the world you guys are in but it’s the carrier that decidess when and to what devices get updated. HTC delivers and your carrier may or may not ever release it. I’m in the U. S and I have Cincinnati bell and every HTC phone I’ve had from them always received an update that part of the reason for not switching. I love HTC phones and like Samsung also just not the build quality and IMHO HTC phones are all around winners if they had better marketing better: camera, color reproduction (arguably), and OTA updates.

        • I understand what you are saying about carriers, and it certainly does affect updates for many users. But for my own HTC, it is a generic European model Sensation. So basically as long as it gets an update somewhere in Europe, through developer forums such as xda, the new rom can easily be acquired even if it is not official released in my own country. However the last update of note for Sensation was released in March last year, ICS 4.0.3. All that has been released since are two minor bug fixes for that same version a month or two later. This is in effect total abandonment of a flagship phone about ten months after its release. When buying a phone such as this, a long contract is also often taken out, so I don’t think it is stretching expectations too much to want updates to newer Android versions for more than just ten months. The situation is even worse for the Sensation XE and XL released nearly half a year later than the model I bought, but abandoned about the same time.
          This why I have really turned so much against HTC, not because of some fanboy love for any other brand, not even beause of Sense, but because of the way HTC have treated their customers.

        • No, for all the positives HTC brings to the table with their design and software, their camera is in no way better than the S4 camera except in certain low light situations, and not even all of those.

  • Bone

    Samsung cameras had burst mode before HTC phones, but nice try. It’s like Samsung stole rounded corners and icon arrangement from Apple, both present in Samsung phones before Apple released it’s first.

    • le_lutin

      Are you saying the S2 had burst mode?

      • He’s a deluded samsheep! According to him everything was invented by Samsung

        • Bone

          Do you understand the word “Camera” you absolute tool?

          • Filip Justin

            Camera.. as in cameras used for taking pictures..

      • krillin

        Samsung Omnia 2 had a burst shot..

    • Bah bah Samsheep! If that was the case why didn’t they release the Galaxy S before the iPhone? Or their Tab before the IPad?

  • Randy Sylmar

    Sorry, but it wasn’t burst mode that was top of the complaints list of HTC phones. It was the small battery they slapped on their phones that couldn’t be replaced, over-heating issues, and no sd card slot. Sorry but the HTC One is going to be another One X with the same exact issues.

    • My EVO LTE has yet to die on me in the before 9; I get 4-5 hours of screen on time per charge. And i have a 64 GB SD card in her. But sense will destroy my battery in a half hour, CM10.1 FTW.

  • The marketing was definitely their downfall for last year.

  • Nostrand

    Everything out there is already overshadowed by sgs4 release. Sorry HTC you had your chance and you gave us the one,now wait for the launch of sgs4 and see if you can beat Samsung in their own name,
    Also no point in bashing Samsung over the failure of HTC one x.

    • le_lutin

      He’s not bashing. He’s admitting that samsung marketed the S3 better.

  • john

    Whilst I agree with the article to a greater degree – HTC really did poorly in marketing. Can’t blame them, I mean they were the hardware manufacturing company for years, and when the Android took off, people seem to buy HTC without paying special attention to advertisements.

    However, I think the failure of HTC One X series is more complicated than that. Such big loss are rarely caused by a single cause, rather a sum of many crucial mistakes. With the One X, the naming conventions were horrible: confusing, uninspiring, un-intuitive- I guess you can count this on the marketing. The design aspect: unibody is expensive, rarely translates to greater torsional strength nor the weight improvement, also battery was piss-weak and irremovable .

    The Sense was great, but after the jellybeans came out, it just became slower, less attractive-minimalistic sense- and just unnecessary. Tegra 3 to was a great SoC, but Nvidia in it’s years of wisdom bottlenecked the whole thing on the memory bandwidth-which is very VERY ironical because GPUs or graphical intensive computing in comparison to say HPC is very high memory consuming compared to the actual computing power.

    I’m pretty sure I can think of more, but I’m pretty sure HTC can do much better without.

    • I’d have to agree. But HTC are using Qualcomm now, and I’m glad they used Unibody since they tend to suffer less from signal attenuation, for example, my One X kicked my SG3’s ass when it came to making calls and getting a reliable data signal.

  • taz89

    Lol how did Samsung steal burst mode when there were phones before it that had that feature and which was also capable done by apps and do HTC know that Samsung have been making cameras for a long time which have burst mode.

  • Alastair de Zeeuw

    To the writer of this article:
    I know it may grab more readership and spark more controversy, but could you try to maintain some degree of professional journalism by actually reporting what the company says in the headline instead of twisting it to make them sound like a bunch of whiney losers. I would suggest that HTC was being quite modest and critical of itself in observing that it failed in its marketing.

    • Pete

      This is SamsungAuthority, don’t you know? ;-)

  • Filip Justin

    God, this HTC company acts in the same manner that their patent partner, Apple, does. Accusing Samsung for stealing burst mode, a feature that feels just as natural on a smartphone as it is on a camera is outrageous. Instead of criticizing their lack of prowess in departments such as battery, UI, SoC, they complain about meaningless features like camera or speakers.. Pathetic..

    • Why does everyone hate on HTC so bad on this website?

      • Probably because we own or owned HTC phones, and HTC abandoned or phones after an unreasonably short period of time. They treat older customers like something to be scraped off their shoes once a slightly newer model comes along.

  • williamworlde

    Disclaimer: I do own a Samsung device. I bought the older GNex just this past November to replace my aged 3GS. Hey, I buy what I WANT and am not beholden to ANY manufacturer/SP, etc.

    I’ve always liked the HTC One X, but I wanted the full Android experience and didn’t want to get stuck waiting for OS updates. That was my reason for this specific Samsung device. In general though, although they may be powerful, Samsung devices ARE cheap-looking, and to me at any rate, ugly! So even though the GNex wasn’t the fastest, most feature-rich device, I could live with its metallic looks and “chin”. That IS MY preference.

    All that said, GOOD FOR HTC! I hope they kick Samsung’s butt! I am sick of Samsung putting out the same bloody cheap-looking, plasticky devices just in different sizes. HTC has beautiful devices and I hope they shout them from the mountaintops – like the Apples, Microsofts, Samsungs, etc. Good for them!

  • Soheil

    I bought HTC one x last year and all I want to do now is waiting for galaxy s4. I had enough of hectic battery and display problems

  • dandroid13

    Nobody cares about HTCrap anyway…

  • jay flores

    My old Atrix had burst mode lol

  • chris

    Stole? Htc your starting to sound a lot like a type of fruit…

  • Mike Reid

    Cry me a river, HTC. Instead of effective marketing you come up with silly names ?

    IMO BlinkFeed and BoomSound sound Stupid, & I don’t throw the “S” word around lightly.