HTC will be glad to see the back of 2012, a year which has been very difficult for the once all-powerful Android smartphone manufacturer, as it saw its market share pummeled into almost nothing by Samsung and Apple. Worse still, it reported its lowest earnings in six years and its share price dropped by 80 percent against its 2010 high point.
The release of the J Butterfly and the Droid DNA showed HTC still has the strength to put out an exciting and technically impressive device though, and CEO Peter Chou seems to have identified the source of its problem prior to this point. He told the Wall Street Journal, “We haven’t done enough on the marketing front,” which is an area where he says the company’s competitors, “were too strong and very resourceful, pouring lots of money into marketing.”
He’s positive about the future, continuing with, “The worst for HTC has probably passed. 2013 will not be too bad.” It’s an interesting choice of words, as usually when “things aren’t too bad,” it means it’s still nasty, just not as awful as it could be. As we’ve already seen, 2012 was really bad, so presumably anything aside from a complete shutdown could be viewed positively.
Marketing 2.0 and Microsoft’s backing
So what does HTC have planned for 2013? Peter Chou wouldn’t talk about them in the WSJ interview, but we’re already aware of its so-called Marketing 2.0 plan, which will be implemented by newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho. Details haven’t been made public yet, but it could mean the end of HTC’s Quietly Brilliant campaign, as it has realized it needs to be much more vocal about its brilliance if it wants to survive.
But for a marketing campaign to be successful, it first needs some products to talk about. We’re expecting the mysterious M7 to make an appearance soon, whether it’s at CES or MWC, plus a collection of codenames have been leaked recently, suggesting more than a few new devices – including some tablets – are on their way. HTC has been seen chatting with Microsoft too, and in addition to further collaboration regarding Windows Phone 8, we could finally see the company produce some Windows RT tablets, despite early relationship problems.
Peter Chou said that one thing 2012 taught him is the need to, “Act fast and be responsive to market changes,” so we look forward to seeing what the newly invigorated and pro-active HTC has in store for the coming 12-months.