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HTC drops hints about a new Hero phone and plans for a major redesign

HTC One M9 home
Ben Nelson/Digital Trends
HTC hasn’t had the best year so far. Its One M9 flagship phone didn’t impress customers as much as the company had hoped, and HTC reported its lowest April revenue numbers in six years. In an effort to assuage investors’ fears, HTC held a shareholder’s meeting yesterday, and promised changes are incoming, reports the Taipei Times.

HTC CEO Cher Wang apologized for her company’s performance so far in 2015, which has been poor, largely due to relatively unremarkable One M9 sales and a disappointing marketing campaign for the device. Wang blamed the weak performance on “poor operational efficiency,” as well as an “overly conservative marketing strategy amid fierce competition.” HTC’s competition includes the likes of the LG G4, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, both of which have surpassed 10 million units sold so far.

In an effort to improve its fortune, HTC promised to make design changes to its flagship smartphone for 2016, as well as add innovations. The company also announced it will release a “hero product” in October. HTC didn’t specify further what this product is, though the word usage evokes memories of one of the company’s earlier Android smartphones, the HTC Hero.

In addition, HTC looks to cut down on production costs and improve its marketing strategies. The company’s marketing budget is currently 20 times lower than that of Apple and Samsung. More interestingly, HTC’s non-smartphone segment, which includes everything from connected devices to VR, will contribute at least 10 percent of the company’s revenue in 2016. This leads us to believe that the HTC Vive VR headset — and the HTC Re, its handheld camera — won’t be one-and-done products, though that isn’t confirmed.

With this meeting, it’s clear that HTC recognizes the uphill battle it currently faces. With stiff competition from Apple, Samsung, and even LG, HTC can’t afford to sit back and lose the remnants of name brand recognition it currently has in the consumer market. Only time will tell if HTC is successful.

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