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HTC Source | December 22, 2014

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Our New Year’s wishes for HTC

Our New Year’s wishes for HTC

As 2012 draws to a close, we thought we would share a few of our thoughts on what HTC could do better in 2013. It’s no secret that 2012 was a rough year for HTC. The company saw its smartphone sale plummet, its stock price took a dive and long-time HTC fans turned a cold shoulder to our favorite smartphone manufacturer. We could sit here and analyze every mistake that HTC made, but we’d rather look ahead to 2013 – which we hope will be a much more successful year for HTC. Here are a few of the items on our wish list which we hope HTC will make a priority in 2013.

Improved Battery Life

For some reason, HTC has gotten a bad reputation when it comes to battery life. The majority of the batteries in HTC phones are the same size used by its competitors, but something just doesn’t add up. On average, HTC phone seem to lose their charge just a little big quicker than the competition - something which is most likely attributed to HTC’s custom software. The easy way to fix the battery issue is by offering devices with removable batteries or equipping devices with much larger built-in batteries.

Fortunately, it looks like HTC is already aware of the issue. The recently released HTC Droid DNA is the longest lasting HTC phone we’ve testing in a few years. The battery isn’t terribly large, but HTC seems to have found a good combination of software modifications and power efficient hardware which deliver more than adequate battery life. It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

One true flagship device

Yes, the HTC One X is certainly an impressive device. In Europe and Asian, the phone can be purchased unlock and from countless service providers, but that’s not the case here in the U.S. market. Right now, HTC’s 2012 flagship Android powered phone is limited to AT&T’s network, which means the phone is only available to the 105 million subscribers which currently use AT&T’s service. Yes, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile each got their own “flagship” Android phones from HTC this year, but each device carried a different name and received limited publicity from HTC’s carrier partners.

In order to regain some of the market share that the company lost to Samsung,  needs to change the way it negotiates with its carrier partners. Up until now, HTC has been bending to the will of Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T by offering them exclusive devices. That needs to stop. Samsung and Apple have somehow coerced all of the U.S. service providers into carrying their flagship phones without alteration, resulting in massive cost savings and a unified marketing approach. HTC has started down this path already with the HTC 8X (currently available at AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) and it looks like the HTC M7 will be the first HTC phone to launch on all four major U.S. service providers since the HTC Tilt 2.

Huge marketing budget

Getting one flagship device on all four major U.S. carriers will definitely be a huge win for HTC, but the company’s efforts will be wasted if the phone is not backed up by a fat check to finance the biggest marketing campaign in HTC’s history. We all know that HTC makes the best smartphones on the market, but you still have to tell consumers what they need to buy. We all know that the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III come with features which were blatantly ripped off form the HTC One X, but Samsung and Apple have spent a massive amount of money telling consumers why their products are the best on the market.

Smaller flagship phones

As much as we love the beautiful 1080p display on the HTC Droid DNA, we have to admit that the phone is just too big for most consumers. In 2012, all flagship Android phones have featured display which are 4.7-inches or larger. Yes, the phones still fit in your pocket and they are great for playing games and watching Netflix, but what if you simply want a device which you can operate with one hard without thinking about how you’re actually holding it. I’m not saying that HTC needs to put out a device with a 4.3-inch 1080p display, but there’s no reason why we couldn’t have a 720p display crammed into a phone the size of the HTC One S. HTC actually delivered a 4.3-inch 720p display in the HTC Rezound last year. But it’s not all about the display. People who want a smaller phone also want NFC, a great camera and a battery which can last all day.

Bring back the QWERTY

If you’ve been an HTC fan for a while, you know that HTC has always produced phones with QWERT keyboards. Unfortunately, that all changed in 2012. In the past 12 months, HTC has not introduced a new QWERTY keyboard equipped device. While the company is not saying that it will never produce another phone with a keyboard, it’s clear that HTC is looking to maximize revenue by sticking with candy-bar style phones which are a lot cheaper to engineer, manufacture and repair.

Give us a Nexus

Over the years, Google’s Nexus program has not been hugely successful. The Nexus One was an amazing device, but Google somehow managed to botch its distribution plans for the phone, limiting its exposure to those who were “in the know” and had half a grand to throw at a contract-free phone. Today, things are looking a little bit better for the Nexus brand. The Nexus 7 has been a huge success and LG can’t seem to manufacture the Nexus 4 fast enough to keep Google’s virtual Play Store shelves stocked. While we don’t know how many Nexus 4 devices have sold so far, it’s clear that there is huge demand for a device which run on stock Android. We’re not sure if HTC would be able to make a profit if it was chosen to make the next Nexus phone for Google, but it would definitely regain a lot of fan which have walked away from the brand over the past few years.

A few of the items on our wish list for HTC should help the company get back on track, but we do have to admit that the QWERTY and Nexus device wishes are a bit selfish on our part. What did you expect? We’re people, just like the rest of you. We’re interested in hearing your ideas and would love to know what would be on your wish list for HTC in 2013. Is there anything we missed?

 

About Nick Gray

Tech enthusiast, Android user and founder of the first HTC blog – Nick Gray has been blogging about HTC phones before most people knew what a smartphone even was. Over the years Nick has owned and tested dozens HTC devices and is constantly flashing new ROMs to his Android phones.

  • mb

    How about much better device support. For instance the sensation received only one major update (ics). It was a flagship device in 2011…

    • Shelley

      Just got the DNA which are my favorite genes to wear. Wink. Also have the IPhone5. Android and larger displays
      are more freeing and fun. I am using the Hotel’s WiFi, Marriott in Costa Rica, and have been playing with my DNA for hours. I can’t keep my eyes off the screen.

  • zzs

    I love when HTC put a phone like ONE X in the market for test…then fix it and introduces a ONE X + … and let ONE X owners with a broken failing device.

    HTC NEVER MORE.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      The One X and One X+ are two completely different devices. Care to give an example of how the One X is broken/failing?

      • Lad

        I think there is a truth in what ZZS have said well atleast for South East Asia users. If you go to the social HTC fan site you could see lots of people complaining regarding their One X device. Lots of problem be it hardware or software. It seems like almost the HTC mobile that we got here is like the rejected batch of production. It’s amazingly lots of complaint. Another thing, many user that have change their broken One X with the one on one exchange still complaining that the new unit is also defective while others have been waiting for as long as 3 months to get their One X repaired only to find out that the same problem if not more problems occuring again. I myself is having the yellow spot issue on my One X but do not want to send it not untill the aftersales/customer service is improving. Besides that I might get a rotten apple much worse than my curent one should i decided to send for service. Nevertheless I feel wasted. This is my first smartphone and I like HTC phone but now I am confused. Should i be grateful or regret with my One X. With the One X+ is introduce many of One X user feels cheated. HTC should really seriously offered a discount for the One X owner should they consider upgrading to One X+ and that also depends on the quality of the One X+ that we got here whether it is worth to change or start looking to other brand. I really love my HTC but this is the sad truth.

        • Erik D

          I’ve owned smartphone from Sony, HTC, Apple and HTC over the past 5 years and can say that there is no phone without faults. If you have a defective device, return it before the warranty expires. There is no such thing as a bad batch since components are sourced from dozens of suppliers and are never assembled in the order they are received.

          About the One X to One X+ upgrade. HTC doesn’t owe anyone anything. The HTC One X was one of the top rated smartphones of 2012. It received rave reviews from nearly all tech blogs. Why does HTC owe One X owners a discount if the company releases an updated device? Is the One X+ was called the HTC One Y, you wouldn’t ask for the discount. Just because it has a similar name does not mean it’s a replaceable for the previous device. HTC still manufactures the HTC One X and sells it side-by-side with the One X+.

          Does a car company owe you a discount on a new car is they come out with a new model with the same name every 6 months?

          • ngrneer

            I’ve been a fan of HTC since the Nexus One and although I think they’ve had a lot of phones I wouldn’t buy i.e the cheaper ones. I’ve only really owned the Nexus One, (the vivid for a short time) the One X. One thing I think they should stop doing is bending to carrier’s wills and releasing phones with small amounts of memory and no external storage compared to other global versions. I do not feel cheated by the processor upgrade as much as I do about the memory upgrade because I know the international One X had 32gb vs 16 from the get go. Other than that the hardware I have is still spectacular and hands down.

            One thing that may not bother most about HTC is the fact that the One XL the non tegra 3 model was very hard to unlock the bootloader, root and put a custom ROM on after the first software upgrade. I thought that HTC was going to let you unlock you phone with HTCdev after a lot of users were mad before about wanting to unlock. I had the HTC Vivid for a short time before I upgraded to the One X and it was incredibly simple to unlock my phone. But I got my One X and after I did the first OTA it was a mistake. I then had to wait several months until the excellent developers at XDA and other forums came up with a solution. It seems that if you want to root your phone and etc. that you should never accept OTAs.

            I think that HTC should still be committed to people who want to develop custom ROMs and other things and should not let the carriers dictate the specs of their hardware.

            Regardless they are still my favorite hardware maker but I don’t always necessary recommend them to my friends anymore.

  • dtwhsieh

    I agree with the wish list above and I will add one selfish item to the list: Make an Android smartphone-tablet combo like the Asus PadFone 2 and release them on all major US carriers and that will be my next HTC devices.

  • Jon

    Better battery, more on device storage (HTC One X+ is a good example).

  • Droid Sam

    Great list. The one thing I would add is wireless charging as a standard. The droid DNA with wireless charging is the perfect combination.

  • http://www.unlockimeinow.com unlockimeinow

    great wish list :)