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What Next For HTC?

With Nokia about to become part of Microsoft and Blackberry on the brink of a sale or bankruptcy; HTC is the next smartphone OEM with serious concerns over its future.

With falling sales, revenues and disappearing profits it's been a rough couple of years for the company that created the template for the modern Smartphone. The root cause of HTC's problems has been the incredible success of Android. Having helped to give the platform credibility with the hugely successful Desire HTC have subsequently found the market working against them - companies like Sony and LG that couldn't deliver competitive devices on their own platforms were suddenly given access to all the software tools necessary to build great devices.

And ahead of them all has been Samsung, delivering a special sauce based corporate strength, innovative design and clever marketing.

HTC have had access to none of these and the results have been painful to watch.  As sales have slipped away HTC has managed to misjudge responses at every stage. Despite launching the phenomenally good One there's been no reversal of fortune.

What next then?

Given the rate of growth of their respective markets, India and China need to be the focus of HTC's new phones. That means low-cost, high value devices and a renewed marketing campaign. I'd suggest that a broadening of its operating system portfolio would be wise. Android is a tough market right now, extending its Windows Phone offerings as well as embracing some of the more leftfield offerings like Sailfish and Mozilla would widen the net for customers.

HTC needs to start delivering tablets too. The Flyer could have been a huge success but for a combination of poor marketing and sloppy software customisation.

Seeing HTC disappear from the market remains a real possibility unless a new direction can be found. Unlike Nokia or Blackberry there is little about today's HTC that will drag a buyer in. Its options are innovate or die. Things look that bad.


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