By: Joe Pantalone
After reading an article from Forbes Magazine, it is apparent that HTC is gearing up for the release of their new premium phone, the HTC 02. However, it is striking that HTC still has not recovered from its previous flop. HTC reported losses of $252 million on $1.042 billion in sales. These estimates were attributed to their lack of evolving products.
Customers are always searching for the next best thing. With HTC, they have never truly seemed to grasp this concept. In an industry led by Apple and Samsung, it must be hard for them to break through. With a product strategy of appealing to low, middle, and high class people, hoping to catch a consumer’s eye, their approach does not seem to be working. HTC is a player in the smartphone industry, but it is hard to differentiate their phones. Their products seem to lack a distinct competitive advantage.
When consumers think of smartphones, it seems like the battle is between Apple and Samsung. Both have strong advertising campaigns and consumers know that the quality of their products is good. Apple is widely diverse, offering products that enhance the smartphone experience. Samsung, on the other hand, rivals Apple with their screen display and note capabilities.
So what is it that HTC brings to the table? Consumers have often been disappointed by the plastic that is used in the construction of HTC phones. In their opinion, it indicates that they are not producing the highest quality product. As well as producing “low quality” products, HTC seems to blend in with the other companies. They possess the same bells and whistles that the others do, but are not promoting their product as efficiently as competitors in their field.
If they want to avoid flopping again, they must first try to find a way to climb out of the shadows of Apple and Samsung. This may take a lot of work, but their product strategy will play a major role in making it happen. HTC needs to search for a niche or come up with what consumers believe to be the next big idea. Their goal should be to beat their competition to the punch and make a big splash. If they can develop a product so new and intuitive it might just be the start they need to become an industry leader.
There have been rumors that HTC would like to establish themselves in the fitness and watch category. Again, this does not create separation from their rivals. It just keeps them barely up to par. However, rumblings have also stated that the company has been experimenting with virtual reality to expand their portfolio. If this was the case, HTC would have something that has never been done before in the smartphone world. They would truly be an industry leader in that category.
The problem that arises now is will they get a positive response from this idea. What role does virtual reality have in the smartphone world? Is it something that can be used on a regular basis? Is this idea something that can boost HTC to the forefront? All these questions will have to wait to be answered. It seems like it is a risk HTC is willing to take. We can only hope it is not so outlandish that they distance themselves once more from the top.