Android Central

HTC reported its Q4 results yesterday, and it seems pretty clear that things are going to get worse before they (hopefully) get better. Sales were down 41% compared to the year ago quarter, coming in at US $2 billion. Profitability is essentially gone, given the operating margin of 1%.

HTC’s gross margins were 23% in the quarter. That’s down from 27.1% last year, telling us that pricing pressure is still working against HTC. Given how strong Samsung is in the Android space, it has to be hard to compete. Samsung makes so many of its own parts, from processors to screens to memory. And Samsung is really the only Android manufacturer with so much control over its supply chain. This makes it tough for anyone else to compete on hardware alone, which HTC has to do.

The quad-core HTC Butterfly (Droid DNA) and the Windows Phone 8X/8S weren’t enough to fix the pressure on HTC’s income statement, clearly. It's really never been a question of whether or not HTC makes great phones. Of course they do. But do you really want to compete against Samsung as directly as HTC does? Apple has its own platform. So does BlackBerry, which is amidst its own turnaround. But Android? It’s purely a Samsung game as far as the volume and profits are concerned.

For the upcoming quarter, HTC expects things to get worse. Gross margin is expected to slide as low as 21%, which compares to 25% in the year ago quarter. But could things improve in Q2? Possibly -- HTC has a big launch in the pipeline, with announcement events scheduled in London and New York City for Feb. 19. This is the year when HTC needs to hit a home run, and if they do we may see it reflected in their numbers by the June quarter.

If you’re wondering whether HTC is likely to stick around in this market, putting up a fight and helping keep phone prices down for the rest of us, fear not. They’re hovering on the brink of break even, so it’s not like they are burning cash. And their balance sheet, while not stellar, has enough padding to keep them going here. In US equivalent dollars, they’ve got $1.8 billion in cash.

Another health measure of the balance sheet is called the current ratio. This is a ratio of assets that can be turned into cash within a year (such as cash, inventories, accounts receivables), compared to liabilities that must be settled for cash within a year (such as accounts payables and short term debt). Anything above 1.0 means there is no imminent crisis. HTC’s ratio is 1.1, which isn’t awful, but they don’t have the balance sheet flexibility to do anything crazy.

How can HTC get more profitable? I don’t think it’s going to happen by competing purely on hardware. Sound off in the comments if you have any bright ideas for the CEO.

 
There are 82 comments

Rizz1-2 says:

I hope they get this thing turned around. I have the DNA and it is an amazing phone. For me it hit all the marks. But to make it better for everyone they really need more storage and/or an SD slot. IMO, they have the ability to put out an incredible device, they just need to piece it together. Also, better marketing would go a long way I think.

tim242 says:

I tried the DNA for a week. The battery life is abysmal. Sense needs to go. It is a resource hog, and looks like Gingerbread.

co.ag.2005 says:

Are you sure you're not talking about Touchwiz? that looks like gingerbread. Sense 4+ on my One X looked nothing like Gingerbread.

hmmm says:

That green battery icon = looks like gingerbread to a lot of people.

co.ag.2005 says:

oh, so 1 icon = looks like gingerbread. Gotcha...

Habiib says:

Or how about something simple like creating a folder in the same manner as Gingerbread, even though JB is running under the custom skin..*hint* *hint*

LMFAO! Thank you for owning that guy and his stupid comment about a green battery icon. I spit out my drink over your post hahahahah!

MarkSeven says:

Any OS skin that existed when Gingerbread existed.. looks like Gingerbread..

Rizz1-2 says:

I get great battery life, I don't know what your talking about. Around 30 hours (with 2-3 hours screen on) isn't unusual before plugging in. Imagine what I could do if I actually tried all the battery saving crap. Doesn't seem so abysmal to me. I also don't see any similarities with GB.

orlanka says:

Battery life has been great on this phone. Took a couple weeks to settle down but now it's great especially coming from a Galaxy Nexus.

a2Squard says:

While I do agree with part of your statement, they do have the ability to put out an incredible device, the lack of an SD slot isn't going to make or break them. Marketing will be their greatest weapon here...

Rizz1-2 says:

Agreed!

I can see HTC slipping away and it makes me sad.

wicketr says:

Too many "different" devices. And too infrequent updates that are slow to roll out. With HTC you typically are out of date within a few months and they only support your phone for maybe a year and a half with some extremely late updates.

I love HTC hardware, but the fact that my phone (HTC Sensation), which was roughly a year old at the time that Jelly Bean came out, will likely not get an official update, is a reason to stay away from them.

If they want my support, they'll have to show support first. They've failed miserably in that department.

cordawgfrito says:

HTC was found to update their devices faster than its competition. Look it up. If you don't get an update the carrier is to blame.

Posted via Android Central App

Magellan says:

I still have my T-Mobile G2 and love the design. Of course, it is running CM 10.1 Jelly Bean. :-)

Gekko says:

for anyone who wants to blame Android commoditization for HTC's troubles - i say ask yourself this one question - WHERE would HTC be WITHOUT Android? the answer is - a lot worse off than they are today.

HTC's troubles are self-inflicted by bad management decisions over and over and over again.

do you hear me Chou??????????

eric.atx says:

I agree totally!

avlon says:

I don't have much hope in them at this time. I'll most likely look at whatever new announcement they make and it won't have a removable SD card or battery, there will still be locked bootloaders, and there will still be plenty of recent devices that are abandoned or very slow to receive updates.

IMO these are the things killing HTC. I remember that the only really bad things about their phones used to be the cameras. It's like they fixed that and downgraded otherwise by limiting features.

a2Squard says:

Marketing and timely updates are what's killing HTC! Not the lack of an SD card slot.

ddonahueiup says:

Ding ding winner! Says the thunderbolt owner still waiting on the ics release even though Verizon green lighted it.

ddonahueiup says:

Before I get killed I know this is partly Verizon's fault as well

Wanda says:

If they would stick a decent battery into their phones they'd have something. What's the point of 5 inch screens, LTE, octocore whatevers if you have to plug up every two hours... Might as well be a rotary phone at that point.

318sugarhill says:

I agree. In this world, battery life is everything. I love my Rezound, but when I have to use the extended battery just to make a full work day without pluggin in, it just can't compete. The iphone 5 and SG3 are half the weight of it with the stock battery. I love sense, and I love HTC's designs and camera, but if I were choosing in the last year, it would be Samsung. The SG3 probably marked the slow death of HTC, unless they blow it out of the water this year with rediculous battery life.

xeraphael says:

Ditch locked bootloaders, and release the source code for device kernels and binary blobs. Much as I am impressed by HTC hardware, I'm sticking with Sony and Nexus devices for the afore-mentioned reasons.

hmmm says:

I had to pay like $25 to unlock my Verizon Xepria Play.

HTC make amazing devices that constantly continue to push the boundaries of what hardware and software can do while other companies seem content to just copy and rip off more innovative manufacturers' designs (looking at you Samsung). They are by far my favorite OEM for Android and it breaks my heart that the general market doesn't know them better just because Samsung has more money to throw away on celebrity endorsement Super Bowl ads. However, this is not to say that they are perfect in their own right, and I do feel that they need to make some major changes this next product cycle if they want to stay in the game.

I think a large part of why the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2 have sold so amazingly well in the US market is their universal availability across all major US carrier,and even (especially in the case of the S3) many smaller local or virtual network carriers as well. The era of carrier exclusivity and carrier variants of flagship phones absolutely needs to come to an end. I believe that it is imperative that HTC's next flagship phone be available to every US customer, or at the very very least AT&T AND Verizon, or it's dead on arrival.

I understand that by putting your phone out on the differing US carriers that the hardware inside will be different because of the different radios ect., but the importance of a unified outward experience cannot be understated. This way you have only one flagship device that you need to put your money and effort behind promoting. Brand recognition is vital, so put a universally recognized face on that brand.

Additionally, by releasing your phones on all the carriers, you avoid alienating people who would potentially consider purchasing your phones. I, myself, am a prime example of this point.

When I was due for an upgrade over this past summer on Verizon, I was praying everyday that some variant of the HTC One X would become available for my carrier. I had been enamored of it since it was announced and seeing my friends who had it only made me want it more. Were my hopes answered? No such luck. You know what I bought instead? I bought a Galaxy S3, and even though I despise Samsung's software, I still love that fact that I get to feel like a cool kid everytime I pull out my phone and people ask,"oh hey, is that the Galaxy S3?"

campy614 says:

This.

I. Absolutely. Love. HTC phones. Well made, fit perfectly in the hand. I even like Sense (I understand why some people don't-but I did). My HTC One S is a beast of a phone-and it's their "mid range" device.

But let's call a spade a spade here-a few years ago HTC came out with the Evo and all its variants on every carrier, and they were all the "cool thing." Sooooo many Verizon people owned the Thunderbolt, so many people on Sprint owned the Evo. The HTC Sensation hit the market before the Galaxy S II, and there were a ton of Sensations. iPhone was still the big thing on AT&T, so the AT&T variant is another scenario-but the other carriers made up for this.

The GSII came out on Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It was sleeker, had more to offer, and advertising was on point. So, naturally, the android market changed. HTC even offered the Amaze at the same time as the GSII on T-Mobile with identical specs, but it wasn't able to compete. It wasn't sleek enough, and there was no advertising for the device.

Then came the One line, which has incredible phones. But lacks some things that some Android users preferred. Samsung offers those in some nice packages.

Once you're at the top, the only place to go is down. When HTC released the Evo and its variants, it set the bar very high for itself. After releasing new devices that just weren't up to par with the user experience that owners previously enjoyed, it was very easy for new and existing customers to make the switch to a Samsung device.

When I bought my HTC One S, my friends were amazed at how thin it was, how nice the back cover feels in your hand, the fantastic camera, and other things. And these were all things that HTC worked hard to improve, and they did do better than the GSIII (which is slightly thicker, plastic back cover, and camera isn't as good). But HTC cut corners in places that should have been a given that were offered on the GSIII, and the One line wasn't available on every carrier-which is why they all chose the GSIII when they had available upgrades.

Can they still regain their part in the market? Absolutely. But they need to deliver the user experience that people want. And they need their flagship device to be readily available to any user. No variants. No nothing.

Habiib says:

I agree 100%. I think they've learned a lesson about limited distribution. Funny story is that I've had people ask me if my EVO was an S3, when I was using Google Wallet at the checkout counter..lol

Great post!

bryanw504 says:

Brand recognition is key, the exclusive deals must stop. I mean the answer is right in front of them. I know plenty of folks that wanted the One X but they were not willing to go to ATT to get it. HTC needs to focus on one or two flag ship phone(s) place them on at least all major carriers and even regional if possible. Place their focus on those phones and getting them updated for a least the 1st year, so that away consumers won't feel like they felt when they bought the One X only to have been shafted because not even six months after the One X + came out. So yea when you see Samsung racking in crazy profits its because their two major flag ship phones are on just about every carrier in the US even regional ones.

i thought that HTC would have stuck with the One series as their brand and just went with it. Instead they did the same thing they did a year ago which was make different variants across major carriers with different names. After the GS2 Samsung said no more either you take the GS3 the way we designed it or you don't get it. No more captivates or Epic touches. The GS3 and Note2 look the same on all carriers sans the branding and radios.

That's what HTC needs to do, but i'm afraid they don't have the balls to do it or the money to stand up to the carriers and unfortunately this maybe their downfall. I hope not as I have always loved them as a phone company.

hmmm says:

Having that much power over the carriers is only something Apple and Samsung have right now. HTC cannot get away with being bulies to the carriers. They will just say "Oh well, we'll go with Samsung and Apple".

Habiib says:

SD Cards and removable Batteries = instant success. I don't believe this year will end up being any better than last year for HTC. Even with the new devices they have coming out, I doubt they have enough money to buy reviews, have cost efficient marking, and have a word of mouth type advertising to gather momentum. To my knowledge I don't think an HTC device won any comparison test last year. With more manufactures from China that can release high-spec devices at a lower cost, I don't know how HTC can reverse their direction in the near future for overseas markets. They are continuing to lose market share and a decline in devices being shipped. The Windows Phone market doesn't appear to be any better for them. Not only do they have to compete with the popularity of Nokia devices, but they haven't managed to out perform a company that was/is struggling to increase its profitability. They are also greeted with the same resentment from the fans of Nokia devices.

- The news of their continual financial struggles have become sport and has made HTC the gag reel for Android. Even when HTC is still making a profit, I've seen people trying to convince everyone that they are losing money and are in the red.

Then you have the same hypocritical complaints over and over again:

- HTC needs to offer removable batteries and SD slots (iPhone, Lumia 920, and Nexus 4 have strong demand but have neither of those). HTC releases the One SV which has both, but yet does not get any credit for that (even while having superb fit and finish). Then the complaint is they don't have sufficient internal storage, even when the One X+ had 64GB built in storage. The GS3 and GN2 have both removable storage and battery. They are stellar performers with regards to sales and shipments. At the most, I will talk out my rear and guess that 80% of the GS3 and GN2 owners didn't consider the batter and SD card as a reason for purchase. In fact, I wonder how many are aware that those options exist?

- HTC devices need better battery life. I don't seem to recall the U.S. variants of HTC's 2012 offerings having worst in class battery life. HTC seems to be the only manufacture who optimizes their software to extract the most battery life as possible (sans Nexus devices). Other devices get great battery life due to having a larger capacity battery. I just wish that HTC would combine their optimizations with a larger capacity battery to put that argument to rest. In fact I wondered if the GN2 were equipped with the same battery as the DNA, which device would last longer?

- HTC was accused of releasing too many devices last year, yet their competitors released more devices than they did in 2012, but once again that fact is ignored.

- HTC needs to get rid of the Sense UI, get rid of physical buttons, and increase their update time frame. The best selling Android Phones for 2012 did not run stock Android and they had physical buttons. HTC had the fastest time frame for delivering software updates in 2012. Looking at how fast the updates and bug fixes came for the EVO4GLTE, I thought they did a pretty decent job of addressing issues that the end users were having.

- HTC releases a 1080P smartphone and it's pointless, overkill, and no one can notice the difference. Their competitors are going to be doing the same this year and I can almost guarantee that those comments are NOT going to be repeated.

- HTC doesn't innovate enough with their devices. I think they should incorporate every software feature possible in their devices. No matter if they are useful or gimmicks, having the option to use it is better than nothing. Their hardware innovations are not respected by the fanatics, so they are wasting time even trying.

My opinion is that there is no hope for HTC. No matter what they do, it's going to be hated. They are and will be the most despicable Android OEM in the eyes of the fanatics. Their exit and demise would be best for the Android landscape (based on the reception they are given). If I'm wrong about anything I wrote, I'm open to correction.

bryanw504 says:

Your not wrong on anything you say as I have seen these same complaints. But I don't think HTC's problems lay solely on just SD card and removable batteries. Yes some people care about that but the general public of consumers don't. To me the problem they have and most people seem to agree is the availability of their phones. They either can't or won't release one unified brand name phone where everyone can recognize them on all major carriers. That's the problem to me and until they fix that if they can it will continue to be the problem.

Yea Samsung has the SD card and removable battery but look that at the bigger picture their flag ship phones are available on just about every carrier. And the fact is people have shown they are more loyal to the phone carrier and not the phone maker.

mstrblueskys says:

"And the fact is people have shown they are more loyal to the phone carrier and not the phone maker."

THIS!

codiusprime says:

SD Cards and removable Batteries = instant success.

That is a laughable assertion.

Habiib says:

hahaha I agree. I was trying to mock that statement I've read so many times.

HTC Rezound user here... battery life is, and will continue to be, very important. Until they get better battery technology, HTC needs to have a way for their users to replace their laughably inefficient, low mAh batteries.

Sense is INCREDIBLE. Stock Android is like DOS compared to Sense.

mstrblueskys says:

One thing HTC doesn't have is product mindshare. My ladyfriend knows what a Samsung S3 is, yet she has no idea even what operating system her computer is running. I think HTC needs to become more visible and really start pointing out where it is killing the opposition. I got my EVO the day it was released from customs and it still feels like a relevant phone when I compare it to the S3, Note 2, and iPhone 5. They don't make bad phones - they just don't tell people they make good phones.

I also think Sense is brilliant, especially compared to Touchwiz. It is much more refined and professional. One of my biggest gripes is that most of Android looks as though it was designed for a 7-year-old boy who has a tendency to break things and get distracted by bright colors and funny faces. Sense 5 looks to expand the gap from the leaks we've been given. Along these lines, I think the EVO could easily be advertised as an Android phone for adults, or Android grown up. Something to that extent.

Finally, I think HTC needs to point out the security issues Samsung has had with its mobile chips. It seems like we here about an update pushing to patch some security issue in the exynos. I'm not a fan of scare tactics, but they have been used, so anything to soothe peoples' minds about these issues would help consumers move towards an HTC phone.

P.S. I think HTC needs to hire MikeyXDA to keep doing what he's doing. MeanRom and MeanBean are incredible. If they went the way of Sony with their bootloaders and paid Mikey to do his thing, people would be terribly satisfied.

protohamster says:

I think LG electronics also has a decent amount of control over their supply chain, they own everything from plastics to battery to screen manufacturing. They don't own SoCs (use mainly Qualcomm/TI/Nvidia) and the Gorilla Glass. They're a decent competitor to Samsung in the US and in S. Korea.

The problem with HTC was that they began devoting too much time to Windows Phone 8 when they should have been focusing more on their Android products. Last year's One series phones didn't accomplish anything HTC wanted to do like unify their Product Lines/Aftermarket Accessories (see EVO 4G LTE/Droid DNA), and had a terrible marketing campaign.

HTC has also repeatedly burned customers with the worst Android update support of all the major manufacturers, but to be fair everybody but Google and Samsung suck in this department.

mstrblueskys says:

I think WP8 gives them to get a step up. The 8X has better recognition than the Samsung WP8 device (of which I can't even name).

protohamster says:

ATIV S. The problem is WP8 phones are such a small % of the market compared to Android / IOS. Tying your horse to WP8 is a losing proposition.

tranceunte says:

I'm here still waiting to get Jelly bean on my HTC One X...promising my self never to buy another HTC phone again. It's maybe AT&T's fault that is not pushing the update, but the reality is that Samsung's flagship phone already has Jelly bean in AT&T and almost all other carriers as well. So why not HTC's flagship phone? I don't to buy a phone that will be forgotten by the manufacturer and carrier almost as soon as it's released!! Good track record matters...and Samsung has done a hell of a good job maintaining such.

Habiib says:

How is it that the EVO4GLTE has JB along with a recently released update to correct issues encountered by owners (due to the JB update). I don't have proof, but I seriously think the carrier is the culprit. What is the difference between the EVO4GLTE and the HOX? Very minimal from a hardware standpoint. The HOX was the top HTC phone for the most part of 2012 and it received more press coverage than the EVO. Then again looking at how the overseas and Canadian variants have already received JB, I can only point the finger to U.S. carriers. There is NO excuse as to why the HOX and HOS dont' have JB in the states!!!!

tranceunte says:

True. Therefore, it's their partnerships that is killing them. I really can't blame them for quality, because almost all HTC phones have excellent build quality. I've even gone for more than two days on a charge with my One X. Pictures are beautiful, storage size isn't that bad (leveraging Cloud storage of course), Sense...I can deal with it. What really irates me is being left hanging. Knowing all the benefits Jelly bean brings to the table, but not being able to enjoy them as a normal user (not rooting, romming, etc...). Samsung was quick to bring Jelly bean to their flagship devices, but they didn't stop there...they continued updating with multi-window, etc. That makes you feel, not only that you didn't waste your money, but that the manufacturer is actually actively looking to enhance your experience. Thus, creating a long lasting relationship. HTC doesn't seem to grasp this very important part of business 101.

It's all about the experience!!

Only1Z says:

The HTC One X JB update has been available on the international version of the phone for a long time. It's the carrier that is causing the delays. Don't blame HTC for things that are out of their control.

tranceunte says:

They of course have some degree of fault. They need to create a better relationship with the carriers that push the phones out into our hands. If they don't fix this they will eventually fold, as their reputation will be, unfortunately, trashed...when it could've been avoided. Phone OEMs are in line waiting for a chance to become big...so I bet AT&T could care less if HTC folds or not, as they will just pick another phone supplier to fill the void. Samsung is able to work this out for their flagship phones. Why can HTC do the same? Believe me, I don't want HTC to disappear. I've owned many HTC devices from old Windows phones, G1, Evo 4g to the One X now. I appreciate their innovations and build quality, but their support inconsistencies (maintaining devices with latest software) this late in the game is unforgivable.

eric.atx says:

I have had two android phones and both have been HTC products. I loved my Evo 4g and I do like my Evo 4g LTE but a friend of mine recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy S III and it made me realize how far behind HTC is. Plus with the recent actions regarding HTCRUU.com they have sealed their fate in my eyes until the attitude changes at HTC headquarters. I don't mind them taking the site down since it did use their intellectual property, but when they took it down they took all the files and ROM's hosted their and showed that they not only don't value the dev community but actually have a disdain for it. Although I do know they went back on this position they still showed their cards and I don't like the stance the corporation takes in regards to the dev community. But Samsung and Sony on the other hand actively work with the dev community so their devices get more wide spread positive praise.

I do hope they change their views and start to actively work with developers so their devices get more wide spread adoption and maybe even fix the attitude that seems to be so prevalent amongst the decision makers at HTC.

mstrblueskys says:

You think it's unfair for a company to request a website doesn't use it's name? I think that's fair. If you had SamsungRUU.com, they would do the same thing. I am sure a similar and acceptable site will be up soon.

jean15paul says:

I feel like HTC needs to do something radical to differentiate themselves from the competition (i.e. Samsung). I'm not aware of any hardware coming to market that they can use to do such radical differentiation, so I think it will have to be done with user experience.

I can't decide if abandoning Sense and going to stock Android is the way to go. (It would make the small but vocal group of hardcore Android nerds happy.) Or if they should go the opposite direction and take Sense farther away from AOSP to create a unique HTC experience. (Think Kindle, but still with Google Play access.) Shoot, maybe try both at the same time (with two separate product lines), and see which sells better.

Habiib says:

Some of what you suggest sounds like a good idea, but I don't think HTC has the cash reserves to try alternative solutions in a parallel manner. I think Sense 5.0 and the rumored Ultrapixel technology is a start (from the S/W and H/W perspective).

hmmm says:

I really liked HTC after owning an HTC EVO Shift. I bought the EVO 4G LTE as an upgrade. Then I found out they shipped it with known LTE radio problems that they still haven't fixed and required toggling airplane mode to get LTE to stick.

I sold that and bought a GS3 which works perfectly and will not buy another HTC phone. There are too many options out there to stick with one company for no reason other than you like them.

Plus the developer scene with Samsung has now skyrocketed because of its popularity which is a good reason to stick with them for me. Doesn't surprise me since Cyanogen works for Samsung now.

One down side is that if there was only one major player in Android then the options and customer support would go down the tubes. Right now the options mean that companies like Samsung are more willing to bend over a bit for their customers. You get in a situation like Apple and then you start losing everything that they don't "think" you need. If HTC, Motorolla etc... go away you can say goodbye to easily unlocked bootloaders and developer friendly attitudes.

It seems like HTC has been going downhill since releasing the EVO 3D after the EVO.

Everyone can come up with a master plan to help HTC...when what they need is something simple: better battery life! better battery life! better battery life!
Damn how hard can that be??

codiusprime says:

The battery life on the DNA is fine, just as good as the S3.

Rizz1-2 says:

^^This^^

Most people just don't realize it sadly.

bryanw504 says:

The battery life is not HTC's problem they have slowly improved that and it has been noted on several websites. The problem is and forever will be the EXCLUSIVE BS that they just can't seem to shake. The market is all about BRAND NAMES, when you think of Apple the iPhone comes to mind. When you think Samsung the Galaxy line comes to mind. When you think Nokia the Lumina brand comes to mind. When you think HTC the ................brand comes to mind. They should have stuck with the One series like they said they would do at the start of last year. Instead they reverted back to the HTC of old where every carrier gets some form of there overseas phone and no one wants that. You can throw out all the SD cards and removable batteries, that won't save HTC they need a brand name and they need to stick with it and stop abandoning their phones so early and maybe their loyal fans will stop abandoning them.

TastyWheat says:

HTC should dump Sense and use the default Android UI. Ever since the UI revamp in ICS I actually prefer stock to any other interface (TouchWiz is the worst in my opinion). Running the stock UI is actually a big selling point for me and I'm likely to get the Nexus4 when my contract is up.

If HTC can't win on hardware though, I think they can make up some ground in partnerships like they did with Dropbox or Playstation.

Also, they really need to keep up with supporting the unlocking of their bootloaders; maybe providing source code as well. I'm not big on rooting but it's nice to see manufacturers supporting the developer community.

coxley24 says:

Sad , sad day. I think HTC makes an amazing product (minus the battery life). I still have my Inspire 4G and use it as a media player. Great size, great fit. Hope they can pull out some positives in the next year.

MarkSeven says:

Can't sites like Android Central and others have a conference call with HTC and provide some feedback?? U guys get plenty of it from us, why not pass it along to HTC. They really need to listen to their customers!

TazUk says:

The thing is their customers are the carriers rather than you and me :o\

Floss82 says:

They need to release flagship phones to all major carriers like Samsung Galaxy, better marketing and get rid of sense or make it more like aosp and them they should be ok

JDGAFFLIN says:

Kind of a bummer. I love the designs of their phones. But I don't get into rooting/flashing. I'm just extremely happy with stock Android. Without hassle. If HTC would release a stock version of the OS on one of these stunningly designed phones,I'd buy it,and not even worry about an upgrade path that is say,6-7 months behind when the code was dropped from Google.

TazUk says:

HTC are not going to drop Sense for the same reason every other OEM has their own flavour of Android. It's their way of differentiating themselves from the competition and given Google's aggressive pricing with the Nexus 4 they wouldn't be able to compete on purely hardware.

turb0wned says:

At the end of the day, an SD card and a removable battery is NOT the reason HTC is behind. You people think you make up so much of the Android world. We are like 1% here on the forms. Its simple really, HTC is just to stupid to realize it...

-Release the same phone an all carriers with the same name, enough of this EVO crap

-MARKET MARKET MARKET

-Battery Life. Even the people that know nothing about phones remember the terrible battery life in phones like the EVO.

Robb Nunya says:

I'm actually pretty glad Sprint made them make the EVO. It's a better phone than the One X. SD Card, Shutter Button, and Kickstand = Winning. Well, that and JB while the AT&T One X is still sitting with an ice cream sandwich up it's bunghole. :)

deckoff says:

You said HTC do great phones - no they don't. Or not anymore. I bought five HTC devices in a row and since HD2 everything is going down.
One X has hardware problem with Wifi, and the worst part the problem re-appeared 6 weeks after it was fixed.
Desire HD never got Android 4 update due to a lame excuse. Even though there was this simple solution of posting the code or AOSP ROM for everyone to flash.
HD2 never got the half-hearted promise to bring Windows 7 to it(not that I care).
The only thing HTC got right is the unlock bootloader option.

Robb Nunya says:

My EVO 4G LTE has been great. Must be you :D

I've cracked several phones including Sony, Samsung while just droping it from table-height, but not one of my HTC devices ever had more than a scratch. Depends on your performance indicators, but I will have to argue, that reliability is something HTC offers WAY WAY better than any other Android smartphone manufacturer

PJMAN2952 says:

Maybe if HTC was a bit faster at releasing updates to the US carriers like T-Mobile, there shares would be higher. I'm still waiting for the JellyBean update for my One S. This is getting ridiculous.

Robb Nunya says:

You usually shouldn't blame the manufacturer for that. It's usually the carrier's fault.

tr-1 says:

It really should be a simple solution. Samsung aside, what sells Android phones/tablets? I think it's unquestionably pure Android experience.

I'd already be using DNA if it came as a Nexus or at least as a pure Android, even if not branded as Nexus. I don't even mind Verizon apps, which I'd immediately freeze or whatever. I just refuse to buy any device that is not consistent with my Nexus 7. All my future devices will be Nexus... I now know what owning Nexus means.

This would also save $$$ for HTC because they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel (I never understood why anyone would change the stock Android).

stg213 says:

I absolutely love my One X (except for the battery...). From my perspective, if the One X+ had 2GB of RAM it would have been the best phone of 2012. Before actually using the One X I was among the Sense haters... i found it confusing, bloated and slow, the One X changed my mind (except for the "slow" part maybe... it's not as snappy as the TouchWiz... but on the other hand, having used TouchWiz for a few weeks it didn't win me over. It has a nice touch with the wifi/3G/profiles/etc switch in the drop-down, but aside from that i couldn't find a single feature that would make me choose it above Sense 4+ Also, even after getting used to it, I still hated the "options" hardware button instead of having the native "recent apps" button).

So far the update rate has been good (got 4.1 Jelly Bean in November) but I do expect that to get worse every month the phone is yesteryears story...

I'm no HTC fanboy... nor Samsung... tbh I do prefer vanilla Android and my "wet dream" is that they (they=google)include the darn "Customization Center" in 5.0 that make all skins optional.

On the other hand I am an Nvidia fanboy... and if whatever they launch in February doesn't have Tegra 4 in it I'll say nite-nite HTC and wait for someone to build a decent phone around the Tegra 4 SOC. If they do however bring out a Tegra 4 phone, with LTE, 2-3 gigs of Ram and a decent battery I'm sold... (as long as it's still 4.7 inch... phablets are not for me, I have a tablet and I like my phone to remain a phone).

RAPTOR0065 says:

htc's character and lack of integrity was exposed with the CarrierIQ fiasco... they were not alone but they were front and center. I've never forgotten that and I've never been back. htc can die and make room for another corporation that desires the trust of their customers.

Magnus#AC says:

HTC's problems are certainly self inflicted. If they hope to ever recover this is what they need to do urgently:
1 . Improved battery life with removable battery. Why would I buy a phone with a fixed battery when I can get one with removable battery? The battery should also last at least 24 hours of continuous use.

2. Storage. Either make available phones with 64 and 128gb storage or ensure the flagship phone has sd support.

3. Fast updates, faster than Samsung.

4. Release the same freaking phone on all the carriers and simultaneously if possible.

5. Stop releasing another freaking flagship phone every other month (that's what it feels like)

6. Much better marketing and better naming scheme.

Gimmicks like "ultra pixel" camera, just won't cut it.

Most of you are talking about battery life having had an OLD HTC device, which had sense 3 or less and you had a bad experience. It's becoming a stereotype.
That problem is no longer an issue. I don't know what you guys do with your phone - play games all day or watch movies or whatever, but with a 1700 mAh battery I get ~30 hours and more, with wifi on all the time and when it is not, 3G is working. The biggest issue was software, it's a fact that old sense builds were extremely resource hungry, but I'm currently running sense 4,1 and I am extremely happy.

I anticipate the launch of the new sense, since IF it will be as minimalistic as they say it will. Windows phones are purely awesome because of their minimalistic approach which looks clean, professional and really does save battery..

The key issue here is brand recognition.. Plain people don't care how much ram it has or which type of snapdragon it is. It looks good, it feels good in the hand and if it has plenty of advertising - it's a goal. Yet, it is impossible to compete with samsung's marketing budget, so HTC will have to be innovative like they used to be and not just in the technical department..

davidwal83 says:

They need to unlock their bootloaders on all US phones like they did before. They need a nexus like device that is stock and is a good development phone. The price has to be right, and have their source code out there. So image sense can be used on different roms. They need another original EVO for all four carriers. The new EVO is the galaxy S III that is HTC's problem. When people think android they think galaxy s III not even droid anymore. The galaxy s III has become a halo phone that is the alternative to the iphone.