As many of you know already, there’s need talks about HTC rolling out a global marketing campaign in order to better promote HTC handsets and build brand recognition. Over the past week or so many started to notice teaser billboard ads across the U.S. with no branding and only displaying the words "You". You might recognize the "You" from the story we ran 11 days ago that covered HTC’s redesign of their U.S website. On Friday morning I received a phone call from Eric Lin (online PR rep for HTC) to talk about the rollout of their new campaign. Starting today, HTC will be switching out the plain "YOU" billboards with ones that highlight the HTC logo and their "quietly brilliant" tag line. HTC will be running nation TV ads as well which will feature many of their newer Android and Windows Phone handsets, highlighting the HTC customizations and how the phones can be used by you. Eric noted that no information about specs will be included in the ads and only a few features will be highlighted in order to focus more on the mass market and those who have never purchased a smartphone before. the idea is that if you tell the public too much information about the handset, they get confused and overwhelmed. The U.S. tag line of the HTC campaign is "You need a phone that gets YOU."
I still have not seen any of the new ads (besides that one above), but I’m sure HTC will deliver. For years, U.S. carriers have been selling HTC phones but not really giving them any credit for the hardware. We’ve seen the HTC logo on more and more phones, but finally seeing HTC reach out and introduce themselves to the public is exciting.
HTC will not be rolling out any new handsets for the campaign, but Eric did say that they have a few more handsets that they will be releasing before the end of the year.
A few hours ago, a note went up on HTC’s North America website stating the site would be back soon. Quite a few tech companies do this when they are launching new products, the most notably Apple. For a while now, rumors have been circulating that HTC has a Snapdragon powered Android phone in the works. But that will have to wait for another day. Today (in honor of htcsource.com’s second birthday), HTC has redesigned their North American website to kick off a new $50 million marketing campaign. HTC plans on taking North American by storm with their own ads that feature their Android and Windows Mobile phones. In support of the effort, even the HTC logo on the site has been tweaked a bit to read “HTC quietly brilliant.”
From what I can gather, the new marketing campaign will focus around “YOU” and what “YOU” use or would like to use your phone for. As always, we have some images after the jump and don’t forget to check out the redesigned site.
It’s been a while since we have heard anything about HTC’s upcoming features phones. Fortunately, a leaked Verizon Wireless roadmap document has been able to shed a little light on what HTC has planned. It appears the HTC Razzle will be the first HTC feature phone to hit the market. According to PocketNow, the new HTC Razzle will feature a swiveling QWERTY keyboard, a 1.3MP camera, and Bluetooth, all running on a BREW OS. As of right now, all this is mere speculation. I’d take most of these rumors with a big grain of salt since all we really have to go off of is the image above. Expect the HTC Razzle to hit Verizon store shelves in late October for about $20 since it looks like it will be taking the place of the Verizon Blitz.
One quick question for you. Would you buy a feature phone from HTC? What specs would the handset need to get you through your daily routine without missing your full featured smartphone?
It’s not every day that HTC sends out a new Tweet. Today… they sent out three already. Rather than telling you what they tweeted, I’ll just share their tweets with you. As we were putting in HTC’s tweets, three more popped up. From the looks of it, HTC is planning on using their new Mac twitter desktop client quite a bit. If you want to keep up with all the chatter you can find them on Twitter @HTC
|15:40 For those asking about Touch Pro2 in the US. We have said it will be broadly available here, however we can’t announce more just yet.|
|15:44 The HTC Magic is just starting to ship. We can’t say when of if it is coming to chine, new zealand, or your town. but it might be!|
|15:45 can you tell HTC got a new desktop client for twitter today? here’s hoping we’ll be a chattier bunch from now on.|
|15:59 for those asking about a new desktop client, it’s a desktop not mobile. We can’t have our phones buzzing all the time with your Qs|
UPDATE: We sent HTC a tweet asking them what phones they are currently using. Apparently the HTC Snap and the Magic are the phone of choice (at least for those who are keeping an eye on the HTC Twitter account).
If reports from DitiTimes are to be believed, HTC has plans in place to release their first non-smartphone by the end of 2009. HTC started their business as a simply OEM for Windows Mobile phones. Over the past two years, they have transformed themselves into a leading brand and dominating the Windows Mobile marketplace and they are currently the only manufacturer to release an Android phone.
Though there are incredible profit margins in producing smartphones, HTC is missing out on a whole lot of money that’s up for grabs in the feature phone segment. HTC’s feature phones will most likely be based on Qualcomm’s BREW Mobile Platform (BREW MP), which allows in depth Flash integration.
Over the past couple years, HTC’s revenue and profits have increased by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately for HTC, Q1 of 2009 has taken a hit. HTC’s net profits came in at NT$4.89 billion ($148 million), down from NT$6.94 billion ($210 million) for the same quarter in 2008. HTC is not blaming the global economic downturn for the 30% drop in profits, but did note that the numbers could have been higher is they had not missed a few product shipping deadlines. HTC did beat most analysts estimates which predicted that profits for the quarter would come in at about NT$4.64 billion ($140 million). Check out the pull press release here (warning – pdf file)
With Q1 behind them, I’m sure HTC is looking forward to an incredible Q2. HTC is about ready to release the Touch Diamond2, the Touch Pro2, the Snap, and the Android powered HTC Magic. Lets just see what happens.
Some leaked PowerPoint presentations have made their way onto the web which show Sprint’s smartphone plans for the next few months. You’ll notice that They were just able to squeeze in the HTC made Palm Treo Pro for Q1, but Q2 and Q3 also have some HTC goodness in the works. Sprint is planning on releasing the HTC Willow which will feature a full front QWERTY keyboard and most likely will be shipping with WM 6.1 standard. Before Q3 is over, Sprint will release the HTC Rhodium which seems to resemble the HTC Touch Pro2 quite a bit.