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Weak sales keep HTC from launching first Windows 8 tablet

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Weak sales keep HTC from launching first Windows 8 tablet
Even though HTC was the first manufacturer to deliver an Android powered phone, Microsoft has decided against having the Taiwan based manufacturer bring the first Windows 8 tablet to market. According to Bloomberg, the reason is due to HTC's poor sales of its current stable of mobile products. The news service reported the decision by Microsoft on Wednesday, the same day the company reported that sales dropped 13% in its second quarter after a 35% drop in Q1 revenue.

The female-centric HTC Rhyme was a flop

The female-centric HTC Rhyme was a flop

Microsoft couldn't help but notice that two of HTC's big time Android handsets, the HTC One X for AT&T and Sprint's HTC EVO 4G LTE, were being kept out of U.S. territory for a time. The ITC exclusion order that led to the devices getting stopped at the border was the result of a patent battle with Apple. Microsoft has no problem with HTC producing tablets powered by its Windows 8 for devices using ARM based processors, it just doesn't want the debut model to be branded with the HTC logo. While Microsoft told Bloomberg that HTC is a strong partner now and will be in the future, the stats show that when it comes to tablets it is not a dominant player in the market.

In Q1, IDC computed that HTC shipped all of 35,000 tablets worldwide. Tom Mainelli, research director for Mobile Connected Devices research at IDC, says that performance gives HTC less than 1% of the global tablet market. Meanwhile, IDC's smartphone analyst Ramon Llamas said that the company's handset sales fell 23% year-over-year and that declining numbers like that could be why the manufacturer is having trouble purchasing enough chips from Qualcomm. As Llamas pointed out, with leading smartphone producers Apple and Samsung also obtaining chips from the same source, the latter two will get served first before HTC.
"Chip manufacturers will serve a customer like HTC after they serve Samsung and Apple. HTC hasn’t been in the position to command that kind of volume and attention."- Ramon Llamas, IDC analyst
Microsoft's decision might have taken into consideration the fact that some HTC devices have been absolute flops such as the female centric HTC Rhyme, which came with a charm that would light up when a call was being received. The HTC Salsa had built-in Facebook integration, but did not sell well.

IDC notes that overall, tablet sales were not as strong as expected in the first quarter with 17.4 units sold globally. That was 1.4 million units less than IDC expected and 38% lower than the number sold in 2011's Q4. Year-over-year the numbers showed a 120% increase (it should be noted that IDC includes eBook readers lke the Barnes and Noble Nook as tablets). Android sales declined more than Apple iPad sales, enough so that the latter saw its market share soar to 68% sequentially in the first quarter. While IDC did not breakout numbers by manufacturers, it did not that both Samsung and Lenovo are beginning to "get traction" in the Android tablet market.

Things are going to change, according to said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, for client devices and displays research at IDC. O'Donnel believes that the introduction of Windows 8 powered tablets will change the "competitive landscape" of the tablet business. If Microsoft sticks with its decision, this new wave will not be led by HTC.

source: Bloomberg via  eWEEK

23 Comments
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posted on 10 Jun 2012, 14:36 6

1. 14545 (Posts: 1152; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Shouldn't have been worried so much about profits and worry more about continuing to make great products that aren't overpriced. That's where HTC lost it's path. It was nice knowing you HTC, you used to make great products.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:04 2

4. Nikonmorous (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


I can't say I don't agree with you there. As far as I am concerned, premium materials is what would've lured me towards HTC; they're choice of materials were top notch. But now, they're using plastic. Although it's high quality material, it's PLASTIC. HTC also had a simple, userfriendly UI on top of Android, but it's beginning to look messy (PERSONAL OPINION).

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 16:53 6

12. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Why are you criticizing HTC for using polycarbonate? It may be a form of plastic, but it's a very high quality plastic that feels alot better in the hand than what most other manufacturers use (except a certain few, like Nokia and Sony). And they always keep their metal accents on the phone, and now they went a step further to put a ceramic coating on their devices, though there are a few kinks to work out of it, it's a very good idea. And there UI hasn't ever been really "simple". Sense 2 was pretty light though, Sense 3 was where they got over-zealous and make the UI heavy and laggy, but they cleaned it up with Sense 4, and even though there's a few bugs every UI has those, and HTC has been sending out updates to fix those bugs. I get it's your personal opinion, but you are criticizing HTC for what other manufacturers do also, but HTC either makes it better or tries to fix it as soon as there's a problem. Yes, HTC has problems, but they're getting better.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 23:40 1

17. hung2900 (Posts: 821; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


SGS II uses PC too, but everyone says that's just cheap plastic.
Nokia used PC as a gimmick, followed by HTC. It's just plastic.
Sense 4 is still heavy and laggy although that OneX is powered by a quad-core CPU.
And the worst problem of HTC is how they name their products. Desire, ThunderBolt, Evo, Sensation, One,... these name make me confused. You see that "Samsung Galaxy S" is one of things guaranteeing the success of GS3. Samsung has don very well in naming their products. When we look at the name, we can know which class it belonging to.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 06:01

20. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


The Galaxy S 3 uses polycarbonate, but it has a gloss finish which makes it look cheap, unlike the matte finish on the One X and Lumia 900. It is plastic, but a stronger and more durable plastic that, with the right touch, feels very premium. And Sense 4 isn't laggy at all, except maybe the browser, but most of that 'lag' is text re-flow. And the naming? Really? How do they confuse you? It's just names. Samsung just staples 'Galaxy' on just about anything. Galaxy S is their flagship, 'One' is HTC's Galaxy S so to speak. It's their new line that has 1 high, 1 mid, and 1 low range device. You can tell what class a device is just by looking at it really. You'll never really see a premium built low end device, very rarely at least.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 19:48 2

14. sprockkets (Posts: 1359; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Well what's your opinion about the One S mostly metal bod (can't use all metal unless you want no signal)?

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:08 2

6. chrischau1308 (Posts: 53; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


I don't know who gave you the thumb down, but I totally agree.
HTC used to try to make people say: "Oh you have an HTC?", like try to make people think that they are using some high-end brand or sth like that.
Now? "You use an HTC? and blah blah balh". HTC has failed to impressed people.
Yes it's quiet brilliant, but quiet is not always brolliant HTC.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 01:32

19. mrochester (unregistered)


Shouldn't have been worried about profits?! LOL!

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 14:59 5

2. aaronkatrini (Posts: 239; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


So Microsoft doesn't want Metro UI to be customizable, wants Nokia to produce only for them, now doesn't want neither Htc (their first contributer before Lumia phones). Seriosly Microsoft, WTF? Closed-Source OS? What are we babies who can't handle a damn phone?

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:07 8

5. aaronkatrini (Posts: 239; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


Oh.. I forgot: Htc is one of the biggest innovators (along side with Samsung and Apple). First Android phone -> Boom! First 1ghz phone-> Boom! First Nexus phone->Boom! First Quad-core phone->Boom!

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:13 8

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5953; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


You forgot the first glasses-free 3D display phone. While glasses-free 3D display didn't catch on, it was an innovation.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 21:23 4

16. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


And the first 4G phone, and I think they had one of the first 3G phones also

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:24 1

9. 14545 (Posts: 1152; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


If I had to go out on a limb, I would say that MS saw how HTC treated their customers of their overpriced Flyer/Evo View/Jetstream tabs, and told them to get bent. I mean HTC dropped support after a less than 6 months on the Jetstream. How sad is that? And don't get me wrong, I loved HTC. I have owned the XV6800, TP, TP2, and currently still own the Thunderbolt, the Flyer, Evo View 4g and the rezound. But after they announced they were dropping support of their tablets after they were only 6-8 months old, gimme a break. Especially considering how overpriced their tabs were. I mean the Jetstream was like 700 on contract. ON CONTRACT. If I was MS I wouldn't partner with them either on tablets.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:34 1

10. aaronkatrini (Posts: 239; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


Where I live (Italy), the only Htc Tablet you could get was only the Flyer and i haven't get to know the others. My uncle got his Jetstream for 199$ on contract (USA). As for the 6 month (im being based only on your words) support thats very rude of Htc. And MS is not going to give only its "bless" (OS only) to their tablets like Google, there would be hole product line, means all taken care by MS, even the support, updates and customization of any kind!

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:52

11. 14545 (Posts: 1152; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I understand that, but the point is that HTC gave up on something they deemed as a "failed" product line. When it was their overpricing and overbloat of sense that killed what was a great tablet line. If they had leaned out sense (meaning not gotten rid of, just made less resource heavy) sooner, and lowered their stupidly high prices they would have sold tablets like wildfire. I mean they were asking more than Apple. That's just asinine of HTC. They, through their stupid pricing structure, killed their android tablet viability. But they weren't even smart enough to see that. Now that they have done so, they have decided to screw the loyal customers of theirs and stop support their tablets because they killed them off. Needless to say, the rezound will be my last HTC phone after the tablet debacle.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:01 3

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5953; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Frankly, I think that the MS descision to not let HTC debut a W8 tablet is a blessing for HTC. Wait until W8 tablets have demonstrated they can sell before making the investment in the concept.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 15:13

7. eman99 (Posts: 238; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)


well i think they shouldn't release it, it will be pointless no need for a prison in a tablet, just stay with android

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 18:26 2

13. snowgator (Posts: 3290; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Microsoft is really walking a tightrope here. I have felt the whole WP start-up has been geared to trying to own the Tablet market. It is really the golden goose for MS, for it is the obvious future of the PC/laptop business. I am not saying they do not have the right to put their best product forward, but HTC is and has been a great partner. Tough to ruffle feathers this way.

Android has not proven itself in the tablet market, and maybe that is why tablets have not taken off. If MS does this right, they may yet become Apples top competitor, with Android third. A far cry from where they are in the smartphone wars.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 20:31 2

15. tiara6918 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Microsoft should have still given htc a chance to sell tablet devices with windows 8. This is a chance for htc to try out new products(whether it will sell or not). It is not a complete loss in money if they do not sell much tablets, well at least they tried and from those unsold devices, they will now know and figure out ways to think of strategies to make the next htc tablets be sold.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 01:30 2

18. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


HTC Ryhme is a flop?! Dude, i am a man and i am in love with that phone... its a good phone.. just that most of its accesories are useless....

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 07:47

21. Roomaku (Posts: 278; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


I feel like Windows 8 tablets are going to be a huge fail anyway. I mean they have to compete with established iPad, and a number of Android tablets. I think HTC is better off not being part of the mess.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 07:55

23. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


lol really android tablets lol. at the end of the day by the end of 2013 early 2014 it wil be ipad and windows with android with less than 10%. i dont see them lossing there smart phone share anytime soon. but to think android tablets can make it is just crazy.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 07:53

22. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


ms and htc probley could not agree on a price for the tablet. ms knows that it needs to under cut the ipad in order to beat out apple. which means just like the 360 they will have to sell them at a loss for a while. andorid is not a threat in the tablet market honelstly.

it could also be that ms wants nokia to launch the first tablet. judging from how ms showed off the lumia 900 at E-3

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