Apr 17 AT 9:40 AM Anthony Domanico 33 Comments

Hard times ahead for HTC amidst increased competition, CFO-ousting?


The HTC One series has me excited for an HTC smartphone again. The One X (or, Evo 4G LTE) matches HTC’s notorious styling with top-notch innards, and a toned-down version of the popular HTC Sense custom UI. Similarly, the One S and One V phones are stellar phones for the mid-range market, and should easily steal customers away from the competition.

In a way, the One series is a make-or-break product for the Taiwanese manufacturer. Over the past year or so, HTC has continued to lose market share to Apple and Samsung, the latter of which is not resting on it’s previous successes. A huge deal between HTC and Beats Audio has left the company with a financial bottleneck that has just seen the ousting of HTC’s CFO Winston Yung after just a year on the job. Yung is being replaced by former Goldman Sachs partner┬áChia-lin Chang.

What’s worse, Samsung is about to take the spotlight off of the One series, just as the HTC One line begins to go on sale in the United States. Samsung will soon take the wraps off their next flagship device, the Galaxy S III, and if sales of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II lines are any indication, the Galaxy S III will sell phenomenally well when it launches later this quarter.

These two situations spell potentially bad news for HTC, and HTC’s shares have taken a tumble this morning as a result, shedding over 5% in early trading. We’re sure this will even out over time, and we hope that sales of the HTC One X and S smartphones in the U.S. will give HTC the boost it needs to remain successful in the Android handset market.

Source: Reuters

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • honourbound68

    sucks to be him :( i haven’t tried out the beats audio on the htc phones but for their sake i hope it’s good enough to be a strong selling point. i’d hate to see htc go down the tubes.

    • Jake Gall

      In some ways its HTC’S own fault, think about it, most people are sick of sense slowing their phones down, and to be honest despite the HTC Rezound having a damn good ppi screen I still like the way the super omled screens look. I think if HTC goes with those screens they’d also look better to the consumer when they are shopping for a phone. Sense UI does no justice tho when you set it side by side with a stock ICS device.

      • Jake Gall

        Other than that I love HTC phones.

        • b

          Yeah but touchwiz is ugly compared to sense and yet Samsung phones sell well.

          • Jake Gall

            Yes and no, to us techies, it matters but to the everyday teen and consumer, set a sense UI next to a Samsung which looks better? From a teens point of view or young adults pov which looks better?

          • John

            I used to have a HTC Desire and I am using Galaxy Note now. I find that the TouchWiz is better than the HTC Sense, the only thing that I liked from the Sense is the clock widget.

      • metafor

        At least with the screen, it’s not a choice by HTC. Samsung pretty much owns the OLED market and they give priority to their own phone department. HTC got burned hard with the original Incredible by going with AMOLED; resulting in a shortage.

      • redraider133

        Actually I think most non techies would not know that sense is slowing down their phones. I know various friends with htc phones and they love the things that come along with sense( large clock, weather, etc) I think for the normal consumer they would not know the difference.

  • McLovin

    I’ve always liked HTC. Their products feel more sturdy compared to some other cheap plastic phones.

    • Jake Gall

      True but they need a selling point and make sense UI even sexier than the competition or do away with it.

    • that guy

      funny all i always see on the news is the garbage quality on HTC phones like screeen dust, One X screen issue, chips on there phones, etc. ill take a 500$ plastic phone made with precision instead. i must admit HTC has that “design and build quality” hook real good cuz people keep eating it up

  • spazby

    difficult to compete against galaxy phones… i hope htc keeps making amazing phones to keep up the pressure on sammy

    • thel0nerang3r

      The funny thing is that not too long ago, people swore they would never buy a Samsung phone. The mobile customer is a fickle one. You may not remember the original RZR, it was the “it” phone for several years.. then Motorola had a huge fall. What brand is “awesome” now is no guaranty for the future. Which is awesome for us consumers, because there is someone wanting to take the top spot by being innovative.

  • dillybar

    From what I’ ve been reading the GS3 isnt going to be that much better if at all than the One x. Its not going to be better, just more anticipated. Which will prolly equal greater sales.

  • bellken

    I would bet very few purchases were made, because HTC has Beats Audio.

    Since, HTC has fewer devices than Samsung, they could make a point by supporting their devices better than Samsung.

    • McLovin

      HTC has the best support of any company I’ve ever dealt with. When I had an in-warranty issue, they shipped me the box, prepaid the shipping to return to them. It all took no more than a week to get the fixed item back, (HTC Evo 4G Tablet). Speaking to them on the phone was also a pleasure. It was a native born American English speaker not somebody with English as a 2nd language. I’ve mostly written off working with Dell because of their horrid phone support.

      • dbareis

        Their staff are friendly, they call you but can’t do anything (useful). They don’t have any decent FAQ or any user forums. They have a very poor method for reporting/updating issues and my HTC DESIRE HD never got a single OTA update (had many bugs though like not handling contact custom fields properly so I couldn’t safely update contact on the phone had to use web). It would take a lot to convince me to buy another phone from them.

        I went with a skin free Galaxy Nexus and am happy I did.

    • redraider133

      HTC is doing pretty good with updates. I mean they had some of the first devices to be upgraded to ICS and seem to have a plan to upgrade more of their existing line to ICS in the coming months, but I do agree the best way to gain and hold customers is support the devices even after a newer device is released.

  • Lucian Armasu

    I don’t know if it was mainly his fault or not, but HTC made some pretty bad financial decisions last year: the $300 million acquisition of S3 graphics (worthless investment), the $300 million investment in Dr Dre Beats (almost worthless for what they paid). I believe they invested another $100 million or so in OnLive too, but I haven’t seen much out of that investment. And I think a couple of others, too, again with no results.

    And that’s besides the fact that HTC went crazy last year trying to squeeze every little bit of extra sales that they thought they would get by releasing a slightly different model a few weeks later, and with all the crazy new condom/brand names for their phones.

    If the guy quitting now had a big influence over those, then HTC is better off without it, and maybe their unhappiness with him made him quit. We don’t really know.

    • txbluesman

      You have a great point about their investments. Having great ideals for investments is one thing, getting the right people in place to do something great with those investments is another.

    • Jake Gall

      I agree, by not capitalizing on those investments its considered a loss and wasteful spending. In either case he’s gone so let’s hope we can see better stuff with a new CEO at the helm.

  • txbluesman

    They make a good product and have a good enough following that they will be ok. I have owned their products and I have nothing bad to say. I would buy again from them if it is the right phone at the right time. Though for now, I am enjoying my vanilla android experience too much with the Nexus line of products. Once I moved away from the bloatware, it is going to be hard to go back.

    Once again, HTC will be fine. They have a nice lineup coming out now.

  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    Yeah, i really like the One line, and want HTC to succeed.

  • swazedahustla

    I can’t see how the SGS3 will even be an issue from people buying the One series (in the US anyway). The one series is going on sale starting next week on AT&T, and EVO LTE in June……by the time there is even a glimpse of a SGS3 in the US, it will be damn near christmas….They have a huge head start.

  • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

    While it’s obviously a much larger problem, the Verizon situation can’t be helping. The Rezound got limited attention from Verizon as compared to the RAZR, RAZR MAXX and even probably the Galaxy Nexus and now when there actually has been a bit of a lull in Verizon device launches HTC is nowhere to be found and by all appearances the next device for Verizon is going to be the Incredible refresh which has been a nice line, but hardly a showstopper.

    • Jake Gall

      I just wish Verizon didn’t turn the incredible into an altered Rezound. They should have kept the whit look or offered a choice between the two. With the white casing it looked like part of the one product line.

    • redraider133

      I actually saw many more rezound commercials than I did razr or nexus commercials. Not to mention in my area the sales reps were pushing the rezound pretty hard even with the razr, maxx and nexus.

  • Rebellion

    I don’t understand what people see in the Samsung line and Touchwiz. Their phones are plastic and feel cheap. Touchwiz hangs the phone, is incomplete and buggy. The only thing Samsung has going for them is the MOLED screens which they don’t sell to anyone else but fricken Apple!

    I have had Android since the G1 and almost all of them have been HTC. The only one that was not was the Galaxy S 4G which drove me NUTS. I ended up getting rid of it after about 2 months. It just kept hanging, super slow between apps, all were attributed to Touchwiz, but they never fixed it.

    Also get rid of KIES! Android is cloud based, why the hell do I need to plug my phone into my PC, install KIES and then update it. What crap is that!

    I hope HTC survives, otherwise I will have to buy the Nexus brand only.

    • redraider133

      Not even touchwiz but the radios samsung uses. I mean look at the nexus and how many issues many were having with signal and the radios. The software can be changed but you can only do so much for a crappy radio. What good is the phone if you can’t use it as a phone.

  • Nathan D.

    Who said it was a good idea to buy beats anyways, I don’t even buy beats, skull candy are the way to go for a cheaper price and good sound quality.

  • Jake Gall

    Well in either case the one series seems to be doing quite well and these phones seem to be solid as what we expect from HTC devices. I hope HTC coma out on top in 2012.

  • DroidPower

    HTC might need another device at the end of the year to compete. While the One looks fantastic, like the article said, it’s facing competition from Samsung’s GS III/HD. That’s just for the summer. From the other os’s, Verizon just announced they’d have Windows phones by the end of the year, Nokia probably will continue push out devices to match Windows 8. And then there is the iPhone stuff…

    as for beats, HTC shouldn’t have included the earbuds/headphones at all. I’m sure that ate into their costs a lot. Should’ve done what HP did from the beginning…just include the beats software/hardware combo.