After years of working for smartphone manufacturer HTC, president Chialin Chang stepped down and left the enterprise. This, coupled with Google’s recent procurement of half of its smartphone designing team, has left HTC with a questionable future and 2,000 fewer engineers devoted to the continued development of new phone-related technology.
Those employees who remain continue to create, but many believe the glory days of HTC have come to an end. However, a look in the past suggests that those in doubt may be underestimating the creative genius behind the company.
After all, it was HTC that brilliantly used the Windows Mobile and Touch Flo interface in their 2008 HTC Touch Diamond 2. Not to mention, their HTC HD2 model is still widely admired today in spite of its aging design. Then there’s the 2010 HTC Desire that showcased a high-tech OLED screen coupled with impressive form and power which, some argue, surpassed all other phones available at the time.
HTC is a company of firsts. It created the first 3G smartphone and was the first to use an aluminum unibody and touch-based headset within its products. Historically, it has paved the way and, at one time, other bigger companies struggled to catch up.
In fact, despite having a less extensive network and more limited funding, at the top of its heyday HTC designed phones arguably rivaled those of Apple and the HTC CEO at the time, Peter Chou, was seen as a figure comparable to iPhone mastermind Steve Jobs. However, the few wildly successful years ended quickly. HTC began to lose its identity, and as a consequence, its success, leading to its problems of today.
After the HTC Desire, the HTC Legend, although a great phone, was offered only on for specific networks, limiting its popularity. The soon-to-follow Desire HD and HTVSensation, in turn, had struggles of their own. With inferior battery power andcomplicatedfunctionality, they brought little return. Further, HTC’s One X of 2012 was virtually indistinguishable from most others already on the market; not a good selling point in a highly competitive business.
However, the doubters of today should not forget how the company turned its performance around in 2013 with the advent of its ‘One’ series of smartphones. The HTC One and One M8 had a combined sleek body of metal and unparalleled camera and interface. Unfortunately, by 2015 the declining trend began once again with an HCT One M9 that was nearly identical, if not in some ways inferior, to the phones of competitors. But this decline may be reversable.
Can HTC rebuild its empire and waning fanbase? Some believe so. Chang was focused or revisiting the past, not of moving forward with new developments that continue to improve the smartphone experience. If HTC backs away from fancier phones and focuses on meeting the needs of the current market with brilliantly designed but cheaper options equipped with innovative technology, it may once again set itself apart.