HTC One M9+-6

HTC’s recent trading – which has seen a 60 percent devaluation in the stock price this year – has effectively left the brand with no value, as its market capitalisation of NT$47 billion ($1.5 billion) is less than its cash on hand position (NT$47.2 billion).

As a result of this trading, the company’s trading means the only thing valuable to shareholders is HTC’s cash position and effectively means the Taiwanese company’s brand, factories and buildings are worthless. It’s a far cry for the company who was once the best selling brand in the U.S. and as we’ve touched on, its product strategy has played a large part in this decline.

From the failure to build on the heights of the HTC One X+ to the failure of the new HTC One M9 smartphone to ignite thanks to more impressive devices from rivals, the capitulation of HTC has been steadily approaching and given its share price, it’s safe to say it has arrived. Its forecasts for the third quarter are less than inspiring and a 30 percent reduction in One M9 component orders thanks to poor demand has hit its bottom line. Vast competition from Apple and Samsung in the high-end and Huawei and Xiaomi at the mid-range means HTC continue to struggle to sell handsets.

HTC’s Product Strategy – time to change?

June 5, 2015

To combat this decline, HTC’s plans to focus on the high-end where profits are much higher, with Chief Financial Officer Chang Chialin confirming that cost cutting will begin this quarter and start to show results in the financial statements by the first quarter. However, according to Bloomberg, analysts are predicting that HTC won’t record profits until the end of 2017 with Birdy Lu, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, also adding:

“We think these efforts are not enough to turn HTC around in the next two years. HTC has little chance to compete with iPhone and Samsung given limited resources, and might continue to lose shares to Chinese brands in mid/low-end segment.”

Do you think HTC can recover from its perilous current situation? What do you think the company can realistically do to regain its former heights? Let us know your views in the comments below!

Nirave Gondhia
Nirave is one of the Managing Editors and a fan of travel. He's worked in technology for over ten years (including stints at two carriers in the UK) and reported on it for nearly nine years. In my spare time, A big football (soccer to those over the pond) fan and avid supporter of Man United for over 20 years, he reads a lot, loves a cocktails and blogs about travel.
  • Neo Vera Cruz

    They should take a look at balancing their playing field out. Start making value oriented phones.

    • hoggleboggle

      A value orientated approach is a recipe for failure the profit margins are razor thin and the competition is both vast and incredibly cut throat with zero customer loyalty. Instead they should look at offering a high quality, fast and consistent software upgrade path, excellent design and ergonomics that doesn’t sacrifice function for aesthetics and most importantly of all chuck away that rubbish camera module, one of the worst in the industry.

  • nebulaoperator

    I sincerely doubt but deep in my heart hope. Company is associated with too many let downs, weird add campaigns , lack of clear direction and inconsistent performances. M7 have been slow rising point however they quite brilliantly managed to fail.

    • SamG

      i agree with you. HTC is a let down on business side… they fail to prioritise investing in camera parts for better IQ…

      • nebulaoperator

        Can you believe it they dropped OiS after M7. Well I would justify that if they did a superb job as Iphone 6 did but we all know how M9 video is terrible. What was tempting about One series, in my personal opinion, is they mortified them self as being best in the class for having stereo speakers but for goodness sake why so little attention to camera.

  • millan

    If HTC M9 had been like evleaks design or new design…It would have been iPhone and Samsung killer…I was expecting huge from HTC m9 but was very disappointed…there is no reason for me to shift from my awesome m7 to dissappointing m9…

    • nebulaoperator

      Same here . I am ex M7 owner. Sold my device few months ago still after 2 years of moderate use this phone was’s beyond human comprehension to have such bad record of ups and downs.Sadly evleaks provided M9 leaks from the parallel universe.

  • Al Mamun Mohammed

    Setting aside the awesome design, HTC has practically nothing to offer to consumers hooked on Apple, Samsung, and feature rich and low cost Chinese smartphones like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and so on. I checked out a few latest HTC handsets, and all failed when it comes to flexibility, features, camera quality and price from its competitors.

  • Joe Sukits

    It’s not like HTC doesn’t have a proven track record building amazing devices. They do, they have just made really poor choices both with product and business strategies. “Build it and they will come”. HTC needs to clean house at the top and get some fresh, young talent in there making the decisions that matter. At this point, they don’t have much left to loose. They need to build a ” rock star” device and price it fairly. They need to do something similar to what Motorola and Oneplus are doing. If they keep doing what they are doing, HTC will be the next BlackBerry. It’s a shame too, they have built such amazing devices in the past. They got cheap and lazy….it came back to bite them in the ass. The smartphone world has become too competitive to become complacent.

    • mrochester

      The problem with the whole ‘price it fairly’ sentiment, especially amongst Android fans, is that pricing it fairly typically means to sell it at cost or just above cost, which is an unsustainable business model if you don’t have other business ventures to prop up your handset business. Apple gets a lot of criticism for high margins but that’s precisely what will keep them going long after some big Android names have wilted away to nothing. Businesses need to be able to make money to stay in business.

      • Joe Sukits

        What you are saying is both absolutely true and respectfully acknowledged….. However…in order for businesses to “make money to stay in business”, they need customers. Not only do they need customers, they need those customers to spend their hard earned money on the devices that they are producing and attempting to sell to them. That will never happen if the customer base has lost faith and trust in their product. Unfortunately for them, that has happened. They have put themselves in a very deep hole both financially and reputably. They need to rebuild the relationship with their customer base. They need to regain trust before they can ask max dollar for their devices again. Will they loose more money before they make substantial profits again??? Absolutely…. Business and life have an odd way of mimicking one another. When ya fuck up, sometimes in the process of attempting to fix things, they get worse before they get better. You have to be willing to humble yourself and understand the situation you are in. To just start asking max dollar for a product people have lost faith in, attempting to quickly recoup their financials,would be short sighted and suicidal. They can’t afford any more mistakes. That’s just my opinion. You and I obviously have a different approach. It’s all good. Either way, I hope they right the ship…I really like HTC. I always have…

        • mrochester

          There’s probably nothing HTC can do now to save themselves. They don’t really have any competitive edge other than loud, clear speakers, and that’s clearly not enough of a feature to entice people. There’s nothing HTC can really do on the software front to differentiate themselves as its all just Android. And there’s nothing they can really do on the hardware front as they can only use parts that are available, which can all also be used by their competitors too, who are happy to accept lower margins. Basically, I think the future looks bleak for HTC.

          • Joe Sukits

            That my friend, we agree on for sure. As much as I want HTC to pull out of this….I don’t think it’s gonna happen either. The market is way too competitive now and the margin for error is way too thin. It’s definitely not like it used to be when there were only a few major companies competing for our business. Now, a mistake could spell “THE END”…. Thus our conversation right…I agree…in a year, HTC will most likely be obsolete…. Very sad…relatively speaking(writing/typing).

  • salehin bin othman

    I believe there a solution with the present situation htc are facing, most important things is what user Want/Like/& Options. Before people decide buy or not to buy Htc phones.
    Premium Quality & Premium software are the common issues for most buyers, to many pre installed App or so called bloatware on htc phones,htc should go for stock Android. The htc ono m8 Gpe for example it not easily available in the market I hope in the future to see more htc device run on stock Android.

  • Abbas Mustafa Bhaiji

    Toshiba headshots HTC ?

  • jpswain

    HTC, listen carefully, I have 2 phones on my account right now, I would buy 6 more if I had the right devices.

    First of all, on the high end, I want a desktop replacement in my pocket, with 4 plus gigs of ram, 128 gb of “UFS” storage, a 6 inch 2k screen with screen mirroring to an exterior monitor, a fully compatible Bluetooth keyword option, hot swappable dual OS “Windows 10/Android 6.0″ with drag and dropable capacity between an Android photo into a Windows Word doc, preferably with a stylus., and USB”C”.
    Oh, and don’t forget a removable battery, I want functionality….not fashion.

    Secondly, I need lots of inexpensive wearables with GPS and a remotely actuatable camera and microphone, equipped with a simcard. I would wear one on my lapel or ball cap, I would hang one on my dog’s collar, hide one under the seat of my bike, put one in my luggage so I can track it, and I’d sew one into my child’s clothing.

    • TheBagging Man

      Your not asking for much are you

    • Xorok


  • King_Android

    They are HTC, of course they can make a come back, but they need to really focus on what got them to being top of the throne… market market market, make your devices easier to get into the hands of consumers. Paid advertisers, “cool people” etc. With social media, and everything you can try unique marketing strategies to make your devices popular again. I hate to say it but you might have to include a “gimmick” so regular people will be waiting in line for the new phone to drop and start off with this new One m9 thats being rumored to drop.

  • galaxyNote4isBoss

    The sad part is mom and pop tech sites always want to talk about SAMSUNG’S declining profits SAMSUNG’S declining market share. SAMSUNG is far from being Htc, Sony, Motorola, LG and Huawei Samsung makes profits four to fives times more than the entire android platform.

    Htc’s issues are boring products they have no legitimate identity and are offering nothing but run of the mill boring features that nobody cares about also terrible marketing.

    At the end of the day this decline started after they eliminated the Htc Evo line of products for no logical reason the Evo line put Htc on the map.

    I will never buy Htc ever again and hope they get it it together but I wouldn’t expect any change they are a drab, dull,boring company reminds me of Sony, Motorola, or crappy Nexus products.

    What do you get if you put Htc, Lg, Sony, Motorola, Huawei and that crappy Nexus products all in one box…..You get a entire android platform that’s a total flop full of run of the mill android manufacturers worth squat

    • squiddy20

      You’re right. Samsung is still above Motorola, LG, HTC, Sony, and all the others… for now. If profits and market share continue to decline like they have been, it won’t be long before Samsung is on the same level as the rest of them. Oh, and we can’t forget all your countless claims from a few years back that HTC would “always be on top” and that you’d never own any of “Samsuck’s crappy ass plastic devices”.

      HTC’s decline started well before that. Or have you forgotten the clusterf*ck that was the Evo 3D, the phone you said was “legendary”, and would be “Sprint’s flagship device well into 2012”, but had poor sales when you made that comment, and was pulled from shelves not even 3 months into the year.

      “I will never buy Htc ever again” Yeah? You also said you’d never buy Samsung. Now you’re their b*tch. My, my, my… how the word “never” gets people into trouble.

  • ichuck7

    This is sad news. HTC had a great thing going but ruined it with poor decisions. Bad cameras and bad advertising partly did them in. Not to mention, they should never have made so many offshoots of their flagships. It’s really too bad because I consider the HTC One M8 one of the greatest phones out there still. The build quality, speakers, and blinkfeed sell me.

    • Martin Lane

      The M8 had a below average camera when it was released and now it’s just rubbish.

      Greatest phones out there? That’s hilarious, there are plenty of better phones out there.

      • ichuck7

        I agree with you 100% on their camera. I think that was their big undoing. Most with money have kids and take vacations and they want a good camera to capture those moments. If you get the reputation of having a bad camera, customers may never return.

        However, disregarding the camera situation, the M8 is still a great phone in my opinion. Without getting lost in spec world, why is it not? I’ve owned 17 different android devices and am using the M8 now. Great phone for me.

  • Taft

    HTC just makes one mistake after the other. They’ve been in the death spiral since at least 2012 and lack the consistency to get out. Time for these guys to make some unpopular decisions and clear house.

  • N030de3

    HTC is an excellent manufacturer, their phones are long lasting, well built, and their software is always a step up compared to Touchwhiz, Sony’s Software or any other Android iteration. I feel for users, HTC’s main problem is the repairability of their phones. I have had small issues with HTC such as boom sound speakers cracking, and having to send their phones for every single thing to the service center, wasting money on mailing and not being able to buy extended warranty. If they want to make high end products, their service and design in terms of ease of repairabiltiy should complement it. HTC phones are engineering marvels, but once you open a HTC phone, you cannot join it back without damaging or bending a few parts, is so complicated. I left HTC due to this. I was a fan of high end construction and looks, but I’m happy staying with my plastic samsung galaxy, its easy to fix. Or a iphone, which is the flagship of aluminum devices, but pretty straightforward and easy repairability.

    • nebulaoperator

      thanks for sharing you were working at HTC at some point. I have sent my M7 just before second year ended to fix purple issue. First time phone came back it was disfigured where the top and bottom slabs where joining white plastic trim. Big openings and gaps, with visible scratches and dents from the tools were used. Then second time ..this time it was done nice and neat not perfect but way better than the first time just one big problem! speakers were damaged making crackling noise and purple fringe didn’t go away….I was fed up with HTC service , wasted over a month and eventually decided to give my phone to a nephew. I have written complain but never got a reply. Unless this company is rescued by some tech giant and reinvented from within this company will die choking up on the flash outs they accumulated over years.

  • N030de3

    A company which is going to do really well in the Android phone market is going to be OnePlus. Once they master the software side, they are going to grow huge. They always focus on the right mix of technology in their product, no need for useless NFC or bloatware. Simple, fast and beautiful looking phones, and only one screensize to work with.

    Samsung’s users are going to be greatly dissapointed once they realize the phone they bought yesterday is cheaper today. Samsung’s price drops are massive, and month to month. Apple retains better value for their products, and their pricing strategy is just right. HTC’s products are a reflection of their management and philosophies.

  • Kyle Ong

    Thier best solution is to b brought over.
    Through some rebranding could perhaps comes back stronger

  • Fifth313ment

    HTC used to make the best phones. I had the OG EVO 4G and it was an iPhone killer at the time! Also the HTC EVO 4G LTE was also great! But come on, releasing a flagship hero device in 2015 with no OIS, fingerprint reader, 2K screen or removable battery will doom any device! You can’t expect to go against Apple, Samsung and LG with none of the features I mentioned above! And that my friends is why they are on the road to bankruptcy. That and making twenty thousand versions of phones, multiple flagships, etc.

  • Nat George

    HTC makes some gorgeous phones — and I prefer Sense *by far* to what LG, and particularly Samsung have to offer as far as software. That said, they have always had a horrible time with marketing. They truly live by the “Quietly Brilliant” moniker — which I think is great — but it’s not going to cut it when it comes to pushing a flagship device off the shelves.

    The M9 was a large disappointment not because it it’s a bad phone — it’s a GREAT phone… but the unfortunate reality is that for the general public, stats matter — and for a device that costs the same as an S6, Samsung just spanked it as far as “perception” goes. That, and it wasn’t a big enough upgrade to get people to jump from an M8 — even an M7. I upgraded to an M9, mainly because I beat my M8 up pretty good — but if it was still in great shape, I would have been disappointing. Aside from a slightly better camera, and even nicer speakers, it doesn’t feel like THAT much of an upgrade. Going from a Galaxy S5 to an S6 truly feels like an upgrade. HTC just didn’t “bring it” — I truly hope they do learn from this and are able to make it through to see the M10 that they promise will be the amazing phone we thought the M9 would be… I don’t want to have to go to Samsung. As it is, if I didn’t have HTC, I’d venture into the land of specialty marks — like the new Turing phone etc.

  • jeffdude64

    Having an M8 and still loving it, I really really hope HTC can pull off a miracle and survive. But I remain skeptical.
    Anyway here are my recommendations for righting this ship:
    1) With the M10, release a true “hero” phone. Absolutely make the camera best in class. It absolutely has to have OIS, and every other premium camera feature possible. For the vast majority of smartphone buyers, camera quality is completely essential, and is way more important than the speakers (and I’m saying that as a person who loves the M8 speakers and considers it a great differentiator, but it’s not a differentiatior that really sells lots of phones). Also make sure it has a quad HD LCD with IPS screen. Give it the best Qualcom processor that doesn’t have (perceived) overheating issues. Make it customizable, and offer it in a larger variety of colors – the grays just don’t grab enough buyers’ attention. Make the battery swappable, and have an SD card slot – both are hugely popular features that Samsung dropped the ball on – time for HTC to pick up that ball and run with it.
    2) Narrow down the smartphone offerings. Have one flagship, one phablet, one mid level, and one budget.
    3) Offer them all in both Android and Windows 10 – I have the feeling that Windows 10 for phones (and all platforms – one OS for all) is going to take off – I’m quite impressed with Win 10 on my Surface 3).
    4) Negotiate direct-to-consumer updates with carriers. This is a huge pain point in the Android market. Google pushes out updates, the OEMs have gotten much better in pushing out updates, but it’s the carriers that cause huge, huge delays. Both Apple and MS have these agreements in place, it’s time for an Android OEM do this, and the first one to do it will have a huge competitive advantage. HTC needs to make this a top priority.
    5) Grow a brain when it comes to marketing. Let’s face it, HTC’s marketing has been abysmal, embarrassing, and idiotic. The Robert Downey Jr ads have been stupid and confusing. Same with the Gary Oldman “read the internet” adds. Since HTC has premium products with best in class design, emphasize quality, coolness, sexiness, and premium branding. Commercials should show awesome looking models, wearing fashionable clothes, appearing successful/upwardly mobile, perhaps using other premium products, and of course, toting HTC devices front and center. Let’s face it, sexiness, coolness, and success, sells. A little humor doesn’t hurt, but not of the idiotic confusing kind (as in the Robert Downey Jr ads). HTC really needs to bring it on with their marketing.