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The “Quietly Brilliant” HTC is in the middle a not-so-quiet battle for its future.
Burned by a string of recent failures, the smartphone marker has lost both Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik, who joined the company in 2011, and chief product officer Kouji Kodera. Joining them are the executives from HTC’s communications, marketing, and digital marketing teams — all of whom have left the company in recent weeks.
The departures come as HTC’s future is looking increasingly dim. The Facebook Home-equipped HTC First is, by many metrics, a failure, and there’s no indication that sales of the HTC One are anything spectacular either — which is a crime considering just how amazing the device is.
HTC’s recent earnings paint a similar picture. The company’s profit was down 98 percent in the first quarter, and while it predicts second quarter revenue will hit $2.4 billion this quarter, something tells me that’s going to be tough to pull off.
Overall, HTC’s troubles emerge from a combination of internal and external forces. On the marketing side, HTC just can’t get its act together, which likely explains why the company’s communications arm is being hit so hard by departures. It’s telling that HTC months ago retired its “Quietly Brilliant” tagline (which is a clear window into its current problems, by the way), the slogan still appears when you boot up the HTC One. Something’s wrong there.
Externally, HTC’s eternal foil remains Samsung, which is still sucking up all the revenue in the Android despite the sad reality that its products are fairly tasteless and boring. While HTC has the design prowess, Samsung has the marketing dollars. And right now, marketing is winning.