A recent tweet from HTC US asking customers to “name the top smartphone of 2013” was followed by other tweets from the company, which, of course, pointed out that the best smartphone of the year was none other than its One. But was it really the best, beyond its iconic design? With all the praise that the handset received since its initial launch (early 2013), it did not do too great sales-wise.
When it comes net loss of $101.3 million in Q3 2013, thus indirectly confirming that its flagship handset couldn't help its fortunes. It’s true that the manufacturer's financial results for Q4 are looking better - however, that’s not thanks to increased smartphone sales; it’s merely the positive consequence of selling back its share of Beats Audio.
For all the awards that HTC is proudly reminding us of, one may wonder why the One isn’t in top sales of 2013. Could it be a marketing flaw involved here? There’s no way of telling, and HTC will likely not reveal why it couldn’t make a true hit out of this high-end, generally-acclaimed smartphone. The deal it signed with Hollywood superstar Robert Downey Jr. (a deal worth $12 million, mind you) didn’t do much good, either.
So, what’s next for HTC? Its couple of One spin-offs - the One Mini and One Max - haven’t lured significant numbers of customers, so the company desperately needs a new smartphone to fly off the shelves in 2014. This might be the HTC M8 (or One 2, or One+ - we’re still not sure what its final name is). From what we're hearing, the M8 supposedly features a 5-inch 1080 display, quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 6MP or 8MP UltraPixel camera, MicroSD card support, and a 2,900 mAh battery. It should run Android 4.4 KitKat with the new (yet to be announced) Sense 6.0 UI on top. These alleged features, alongside a great design and an attractive price point could make HTC's upcoming flagship a best-seller. If that doesn't happen, what was once a Quietly Brilliant manufacturer will be in danger of becoming just quiet. And irrelevant. But we don’t want that, because we like HTC. So - for the sake of innovation, fans and regular customers in general - we’re hoping to see great products from the company this year (not necessarily award-worthy, since awards alone don’t really generate profit).
references: HTC (1), (2)