The old adage, “innovate or die” has never been more-true than when referring to tech companies. “AIDA”, which breaks down the four fundamentals of marketing, drawing “attention” to a product, creating “interest” in that product, instilling the “desire” for the product and causing an “action”, the purchasing of the product. This is marketing 101, something that should just be known. So why are companies getting these basic principles so terribly wrong? This is the first in a series of articles that will look at tech companies and the choices that have caused them to fall from the pinnacle of success to potentially walk on the brink of disaster.

Let’s start with HTC.

The HTC M8

The HTC M8

In 2009 Rogers Inc. launched the first Android devices in Canada. The HTC Desire, (known as the G1 in other parts of the world) and the HTC Magic. At the time, these two devices brought something totally new to the wireless industry, something that hadn’t really been seen in data devices at that time. The term Smartphone had yet to be coined. Featuring trackpads, capacitive touch screens, and a community driven ecosystem for development, Android was now on its way to take on the likes of Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, iOS, etc. In 2010, HTC produced the first Nexus device, the Nexus One. The device was available directly online from Google and although sales were under-whelming, the Nexus One gained notoriety with Android enthusiasts everywhere. I still remember almost jumping for joy when mine arrived. HTC went on to produce more Android devices and the company also dabbled in Windows Phone devices. The HD7 was another popular device amongst developers for quite some time. Many experts have surmised that HTC’s plunge in popularity was based on releasing far too many devices and not being able to maintain adequate support for future proofing software loads. Fragmentation is one of Androids key issues and several OEMs have encountered the same issue with support.

The key question is, how can the hardware pioneer of the most popular operating system in the world fall into such dire straits? The HTC One, One M7 and One M8 are all masterpieces of design being accredited with several choice awards respectively. HTC Boomsound, HTC Blinkfeed, HTC Zoe, and HTC Sense are phenomenal aspects of HTC’s ability to improvise on both hardware and software levels. One of my daily drivers is a red HTC One M8X and I just can’t seem to give that device up just based on the aforementioned features. I have to admit that like other blogs, I chose to stay with an M8 and forsake upgrading to the M9. It isn’t that the M9 isn’t a great device, it is beautifully crafted and expands on several aspects for the line-up including better battery life, additional RAM, a new processor and features a higher mega-pixel, enhanced camera. The latter two points may be open for discussion depending on which review you read. Personally, I feel that the M9 is a marginal upgrade over the M8 for the $700 price point $700 price point (assuming no carrier subsidy or discount). If you don’t already own an M8, then make sure to take a look at the M9, especially if you are looking for a truly amazing audio experience! So the question is, how could HTC have made the M9 really pop and appeal to more people? One simple aspect is to make more colour options. Like the M8, it could have been produced in black, blue, pink, red, etc., and these options should have been made available for all global carriers. These colours really “popped” and I haven’t seen another OEM produce anything quite like M8 in these colour variations. Marketing the hell out of the device would have also helped. 2014 and 2015 have also seen the trend for devices to sport larger screens, so a 5.2” or 5.5” would have added a new aspect for HTC and the M9. Sales of certain over-sized “fruit” products tend to substantiate this. Many bloggers believe that the larger screen, HTC One M9 Plusshould have been the HTC flagship device released by HTC.

The current market trend for manufacturers is to produce affordable, mid-tier devices with a sub $300 price-point. Devices by companies such as Samsung, ZTE, Alcatel, Asus, Huawei, etc., have started to sway consumers away from purchasing higher priced flagship devices. HTC has some interesting marketing and device protection offers through the HTC Advantage program which provides additional space on Google Drive and software updates for devices. It is also great to see the company launch the Desire 626S into the Canadian market to provide the company with an exciting entry level device option to compete with the other OEM’s. Will this be enough to turn things around? I guess time and sales will tell, the soft-spot that I have with HTC devices truly hopes that this is the case.

About The Author

Mark Klapper
Data Specialist

Is a Wireless Technology Specialist and Web Administrator that has worked with all of the “Big Three” carriers in Canada (depending on which one was the least hated at the time, according to the BBB – j/k). Currently employed with Baka Communications Inc. (Bell Dealer) which rounds out almost two decades in the industry. Hobbies include everything across the spectrum for the typical “IT” or “Nerd” stereotype including collecting comic books to day-dreaming about the latest and greatest tech-toy. Yep, definitely “that guy”, you know, the one that upgrades a six-month old smartphone because the latest one is much better! How does he stay married? Great question, maybe it’s because he coaches multiple sports teams for his two loving children? Maybe…

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