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?