HTC Pulls Out All the Stops

New HTC One (M8) Is a Make-Or-Break Product for the Company


htc_event_s

This afternoon, I attended the unveiling of the HTC One (M8), the Taiwanese company's new flagship Android smartphone.

The device ticks all the necessary boxes for a high-end smartphone in 2014: five-inch screen, 2GB of RAM, huge battery, quad-core processor and LTE support. It also offers a few extras: a clever camera that HTC terms Ultrapixel Duo, 50GB of Google Drive storage, a special power-saving mode, and a plethora of features with intercapped names such as BoomSound and BlinkFeed.

I've had a chance to use the device, and the first thing that struck me was the metal casing and design. There's no doubt the HTC One (M8) is a beautiful object; it's certainly on my shortlist of this year's most attractive devices. HTC will be hoping that potential buyers will be won over the moment they pick one up.

Of course, the same could be said for the phone's predecessor. The HTC One won plaudits for its appearance and many of its ground-breaking features. But delays in production meant that HTC was unable to get them into shops — and into people's hands — fast enough. Samsung's Galaxy S4 had a far bigger marketing budget and was readily available. It outshone the HTC One, regardless of its technical merit.

Early signs suggest HTC has learned from these tough lessons, particularly in terms of device availability and supply chain capacity. In stark contrast to last year, the HTC One (M8) will be on sale in some retail outlets in the UK on its day of launch and will be more widely available on 4 April. HTC has signed up more than 230 operators worldwide. This means its 2014 flagship will ship slightly ahead of Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Sony's Xperia Z2, which are scheduled for 11 April.

Although HTC won't be able to get close to Samsung's colossal advertising budget and will be unlikely to match Sony's, its marketing campaign for the HTC One (M8) is significantly more focused than last year's launch. There's a strong emphasis on the design of the device, its Duo camera and other headline features. It's also working hard with retailers and distributors, investing heavily in providing working demonstration phones and training.

HTC still has a mountain to climb as it tries to recover its position in the smartphone market, but early indications are positive. The HTC One (M8) has strong channel support, although this does not automatically translate into sales. It must capitalise on the distinctive design and premium materials used on the device, especially in comparison with those of its rivals. A major goal will be to capture consumers upgrading from Samsung's Galaxy S III. Luring only a small proportion of these customers to an HTC device would be a step in the right direction. HTC will be hoping the positive sentiment toward the new phone's predecessor will act as a "halo" when buyers evaluate the HTC One (M8).

In addition, HTC's in a stronger position than in the same period in 2013. Although the HTC One was an exceptional flagship product, HTC lacked a mid-tier portfolio that could address a broader market and benefit from the halo effect. By contrast, the new flagship will be supported by the Desire 310, Desire 501, Desire 610 and Desire 816, among others. Making the most of the new flagship across the wider portfolio will be critical for HTC as it seeks to rebuild some much-needed scale.

This entry was posted on March 25th, 2014 and is filed under Devices. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Ben Wood On March 25th, 2014


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Super Bowl 50 gets a Silicon Valley makeover https://t.co/8ZUHEI3SAQ
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @kestermann: As the EC clamps down on 3/O2, @CCSInsight analyses a range of scenarios (log-in required): https://t.co/tjX05ZTyBb https:/…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Google to offer new virtual reality headset? https://t.co/h15nssbVWT #FT (Another #VR scoop for @FT's @Tim) https://t.co/fqdy8vYd8W
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
Happy Birthday! @Facebook, 12 years old today.
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
We predicted Firefox would pivot Firefox OS to IoT 2 years ago. Arguably an even bigger challenge than smartphones https://t.co/rSLQBYbRJg
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
A solid #MOBL Q4 ending a turbulent '15. What an earnings q&a closing line from CFO: "ASP is not causing us any constipation at this point"!
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Pretty good TV coverage of sport on free to air this weekend in the UK & still #SuperBowl to come #bbcnfl #SB50 https://t.co/JKlAwGysdv
Follow Paolo
Marina Koytcheva
RT @CCSInsight: CCS Insight Predictions for 2017 and Beyond. 16 Nov 2016. Early bird tickets now on sale https://t.co/8gd800fxvT https://t.…
Follow Marina
Kester Mann
As the EC clamps down on 3/O2, @CCSInsight analyses a range of scenarios (log-in required): https://t.co/tjX05ZTyBb https://t.co/1ozFlvMlxU
Follow Kester
Jasdeep Badyal
RT @benwood: Android tablet price erosion at #CES. $25.99 this year, $59 two years ago (2nd picture). $15 next year?? https://t.co/UZ7JIqyL…
Follow Jasdeep
George Jijiashvili
RT @benwood: The @Roto_VR chair making progress. Concept cud deliver v immersive VR experiences. https://t.co/UnXxYxpp5J https://t.co/XTmyF…
Follow George
Rebecca Morley
Early bird tickets: Predictions for 2017 and Beyond https://t.co/NYwaGEZxQd
Follow Rebecca
Katie Taylor
RT @NatureNews: It's not just you! Biotech giant publishes 3 failures to reproduce high-profile science https://t.co/pH12sVrOoW https://t.c…
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Super Bowl 50's High-Tech Kick Off The Big Game Gets a Silicon Valley Makeover On 7 Februar... Read more
Blog Post
GE to Fade out CFLs for LEDs A Big Boost for the Internet of Things This week, General... Read more
Blog Post
Virtual Assistants Are People Too Virtual Assistant Responses Are Carefully Crafted by People... Read more
More blog