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Can HTC climb out of a hole with Windows Phone 8?

HTC is looking to improve its fortunes in the smartphone market. The one-time Android smartphone leader is betting big on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8 platform.
September 7, 2012

Apparently the beleaguered Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, HTC, is planning to focus more on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 platform. The one-time Android hero has been suffering of late. HTC was releasing the best Android smartphones on the market for a while, but Samsung has long since overtaken them with a series of heavily marketed, high-end Android phones. Deviations from HTC’s premium, high quality strategy were disastrous and marketing efforts have flopped. Even flagship devices like the HTC One X have failed to hit expected sales figures despite being comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S3 (see our HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy S3 comparison).

Now, according to a Reuters report, HTC is pinning its hopes on a successful line of Windows Phone 8 smartphones. Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s president of sales and marketing, said:

“I feel very strongly we’ve got very concrete carrier support in every region around the world including the United States and I’m not talking about just one carrier. Our plan is to go big on Windows 8.”

You may be thinking that Samsung has already gotten the drop on HTC with WP8 as well, with the surprise announcement of the ATIV S last week. McKenzie sees it differently, suggesting that other manufacturers are not typically giving their best devices to the Windows Phone platform. Samsung certainly seem to save the cream of the crop for Android, so HTC senses a chance to make a flagship device for the new version of Microsoft’s mobile platform.

His statement about carriers seems to be a dig at Nokia, as the company failed to name any carrier partners when it unveiled the new Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 in New York this week.

Sales of HTC devices continue to drop while Samsung just announced its flagship Galaxy S3 surpassed the 20 million sales mark in 100 days. HTC needs to get more out of its marketing efforts and there are plans to make better use of social media and online advertising. The company needs a clever approach because it cannot go toe-to-toe with Samsung and Apple on marketing spend.

Don’t panic if you’re an Android and HTC fan, McKenzie did also say, despite a new focus on WP8 “That wouldn’t mean we’d want to dial back on Android” it is more about achieving a better balance and not being reliant on Android.