2012 was an awful year for HTC. Not only did the company report some its worst earnings ever, but it also watched helplessly as Apple and Samsung ate away at its smartphone marketshare. The descent hasn’t been pretty.
So how does HTC plan to turn things around? According to CEO Peter Chou, lots and lots of marketing.
“Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing. We haven’t done enough on the marketing front,” Chou told The Wall Street Journal.
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Essentially, the HTC of the future will go from being “quietly brilliant” to “talkatively brilliant” — a change that’s been a long time coming.
What’s most worrying about HTC’s troubles is just how unwarranted they are. Looking back at some of the devices the company announced last year — the One S, Droid DNA, and Windows Phone-running 8X — it’s clear that HTC knows how to create attractive, well-designed products.
But it’s not the products that have been the problem. Instead, HTC’s biggest rub has been in its failure to convince consumers to go for its devices over those of the competition. And that’s clearly a failure in marketing. (Seriously — when’s the last time you saw a HTC ad on television?)
But in his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Chou also points to another one of HTC’s faults: a lack of prescience and flexibility. The smartphone market changes fast, and HTC has done a pretty poor job of keeping up. How else can you explain its tragic fall from the top of the smartphone market to its most bitter bottom?
Chou said that the new HTC will be better equipped to respond quickly to the smartphone market’s rapid changes. “We are being more flexible now. We are constantly fine-tuning our sales plans and position in various markets,” Chou said.
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