HTC Has The One A9 Value Proposition All Wrong
Something has gone terribly wrong at HTC. Apparently the Taiwanese company has moved into another dimension where it feels comfortable charging ridiculous process for mid-range handsets.
As you'll know if you're a regular reader, I have a bit of a soft spot for HTC, I've owned numerous Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and Android handsets from the company. It has been responsible for some of the best hardware designs ever, as well as some of the cleverest innovations.
However the company has undergone something of a collapse in recent years. Mostly down to Samsung's ability to turn out more and more attractive and innovative handsets but also because of HTC's decision to try and focus on 'premium' as its USP.
Which brings us to the One A9. A handset that has courted controversy from the first leak. Altogether too much like an iPhone visually - despite HTC's protestations that Apple copied its designs - and now priced stratospherically, for a mid-range handset anyway.
Looking on the Carphone Warehouse website the A9 is currently more expensive that the infinitely superior Galaxy S6, Nexus 5X and LG G4. It's only £20 cheaper than a real iPhone 6.
There is no way that the A9 justifies that kind of price comparison. Yes it packs a fingerprint sensor and OIS, but in every other respect it lags every one of those devices.
So who's going to buy one? HTC fans? Probably not, the One M9 is only £90 more. Bargain hunters? Not when you an get three third gen Motorola Gs for the same price.
I can see a price drop in the very near future for the One A9, however that may not be enough to wipe away the bad taste the launch publicity has created.
If this is HTC's strategy for saving its business, I have to say the company looks even more doomed than ever.