HTC’s streak of record-breaking profits has been broken by a 26% drop in the fourth quarter of 2011. This is the first time in two years that HTC has recorded a year-over-year drop in profits and it is lackluster smartphone sales taking the heat.
It was not difficult to see this coming and I actually expected it sooner but recent smartphone releases from HTC have been anything but interesting. I keep seeing what is essentially the same phone, with slight changes cosmetically or one or two updated bits of hardware, but with little new to offer.
Take a look at the last few phones from HTC:
- Droid Incredible 2
- Inspire 4G
- Sensation 4G
- Evo 3D
Not a single bad phone. Sure, the Thunderbolt’s battery life may give you pause. The Incredible is not really incredible at all. The Inspire 4G gives inspiration to continue looking but keep it on your list. The Sensation just isn’t aesthetically pleasing but is a very decent performer (just like all of the other phones here) and the Evo 3D is a Sensation in a different body and a 3D screen, and an extra camera, and bigger battery.
I’m bored. I’m bored of meaningless design changes. I’m tired of the exact same interface on every single HTC phone I use. I’m tired of getting interested in a phone, buying it, only to get online and see that a better version of the same phone with some new feature I would have liked is being released in three weeks from the same manufacturer. I’m tired of battery life getting measurably worse with every new HTC smartphone with few justifiable reasons for the increased power drain. Why can my smartphone not last until lunch? I’m also tired of build quality that leads to me wondering why my pocket squeaks so much when I walk, only to realize that it is my Sensation, and the only solution being a yellow sticky note under the battery cover. Classy. I’m tired of making excuses for devices that simply aren’t as good as they should be.
HTC has sufficiently bored and disappointed me with their products such that I am using a Samsung smartphone now. It is better than the HTC phones I have used in the past year. It looks nicer, the plastic build quality is better than what I have experienced with HTC (even with their use of metals), the interface on the Galaxy S II is more useful and less intrusive than HTC Sense, and of course on the Galaxy Nexus the nearly pure Android interface is as good as I have seen. Even the comparatively low resolution AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S II is a thing of beauty in comparison to what I see on some of HTC’s phones.
HTC needs to give me a reason to want their phones again. Build the best of something, please, and try to limit the depth of your Sense interface. It is not as good as you seem to believe. I know your people have worked hard on it but too much of a good thing is not a good thing.