Analysts: HTC cut prices because of 'bleak prospects' with carriers, may refocus on phones like Pixel

When you look at the US smartphone market, it's dominated by the usual two suspects - Apple and Samsung - with the team from Cupertino taking the lead, which is understandable as it is a domestic company to be proud of. Last quarter's breakdown for American users aged 13 and up pegged them as having mostly iPhones (44%), or Galaxies (28%), with LG vying for third place with 10%, Motorola at 4%, and HTC at 5th place with only 2.3%.

If anything, that shows the dire straits that HTC finds itself in when it comes to the American market. Not being represented in a carrier roster is a kind of a death sentence in the US, as that's where most users shop for new phonese. In fact, T-Mobile dropped the HTC 10 only a few weeks after it launched without citing any reason, but if there was big interest and profit with the handset, it would have probably stayed in the portfolio. "HTC has bleak prospects, given lack of availability from T-Mobile and AT&T and weak prepaid availability, while the OEM has (a) tiny share of 2% at Sprint and <1% at Verizon," according to Wave7’s analyst Jeff Moore.

All of these mishaps have forced HTC, which wasn't known for great value tags, or significant cuts, to readjust its pricing strategy in the US. The HTC 10 went from the whopping $699 down to $499 very soon after launch, and now the U Ultra is following suit. HTC announced recently on Twitter that it is slashing the prices of its newest flagship from $749 to $599, and that's a handset with large QHD panel, high-end camera and premium design augmented by a secondary screen that was just announced last month. Not only that, but the One A9 went down to just $199, and the Bolt for $150 off.

In fact, another analyst, Cliff Maldonado from BayStreet Research, thinks that HTC is winding down its inventory and may not out other flagships in the US, but rather end up making phones for external customers like Google: "We believe the launch of the Pixel at Verizon and the Bolt at Sprint, combined with the recent headcount reductions, indicate HTC will follow more of an ODM business model going forward. We believe HTC has astutely restructured to compete with their hardware design strengths and partner with brands to lower marketing and distribution costs and overall risks. It will be interesting to see how and with whom HTC partners with next." 

There you have it, no matter what HTC does, there just doesn't seem to be much interest from US carriers when it is going it alone. What do you think, is this some nefarious plot by carriers, or is the problem of HTC's own making?

source: HTC (Twitter) via Fierce Wireless

Related phones

U Ultra
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  • Camera 12 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(26h 3G talk time)
One A9
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 4 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, Octa-core, 1500 MHz
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1. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

I think this is bad because we are going to duopoly with the bad Samsung and the closed Apple. More Samsung is becoming monopolistic more they close the consumer : phones becoming harder and harder to repair, expensive price tag, no more real innovation and removing features (the S8 have the same camera, still no IR Blaster and FM Radio and the list will worsen more time will pass), bad hardware quality test that we saw with the Note 7 and the red tint of the S8. Happily, Nokia is arriving but the more we have a variety of manufacturer on the market the better it is. And we can also all thank sites like iPhoneArena for promoting and biasing their reviews.

2. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Lol comments like this baffles me because Samsung and LG are basically the only two companies left that are actually trying and they get idiotic criticism like this. Dude they are working hard to perfect 5G speeds, working with quantum QLED screens now for their TVs, advancing IOT, and should be the first company out with a foldable display. Nokia and Apple should both be criticized way WAY WAY before Samsung. Lol Kids these days and their illogical thinking/processing of situations.

4. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

I'm frankly surprised that lg and motorola has surpased htc in smartphone usage. Btw, i will never understand why oems remove relevant features like fm radio, ir blaster, headphone jacks, ff stereo speakers and instead what do we get in return? The useless inductive charging, glass design, mono speaker, and gimmick screens. Infact, theres hardly anyphone with a standout feature save for motorola with their moto mods, and fm radio then maybe the iphone with their 3d touch, stereo speaker, waterprofing and dual cameras, otherwise, the rest oems just have maybe one good feature at most, incremental spec bump and call it a day. The smartphone industry is getting stale, very stale.


Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

My friend it's intentional, Do you think OEMs can't produce a full featured phone with no drawbacks they simply can(It doesn't take a genius to know what that looks like) but they won't because they don't need to and they always get away with it, you see the average user doesn't care as much as us "the Tech enthusiasts" for the perfect phone. Add to that they need to keep us craving for their products by launching products that have minor upgrades and remove parts that were essentials in a smartphone before but now become an accessory which you have to buy making them earn more from accessories than actually selling the phone. You see it's simple; produce a product with minimum R&D and production cost + huge profit margin. Simply follow Apples' lead.

3. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

I hope Google stays far away from HTC for the future phones. If Samsung doesn't want Google to borrow the GS8 design, I want LG to be the manufacturer and if Google is smart, it should just copy the GS8 or G6 design and just make very few changes. Do not go with HTC again please.

5. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Google should stay away even FURTHER from LG than with HTC. EVERY FLAGSHIP they've made for the last FOUR years has had a bootlooping (or severe and widespread hardware, eg. screen, memory, battery) problem. Even the Nexus 5X has suffered. That is beyond pathetic.


Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

The bootloop isn't a hardware issue more like a software issue and it has to do Google. I don't think it's LG, Huawei or HTC for that matter. The bootloop always happens with future software updates and not the software that came with the phone.

15. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Care to explain that? The only devices affected are LG devices, not Huawei or HTC or even Motorola who runs a near stock version of Android. And the Nexus 5x made by LG had the issue, yet the Nexus 6pade by Huawei running the same software didn't. I'd say this sits squarely on LG's shoulders.


Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

I own a N6p and a lot of users owning the device reported having bootloops(luckily not me) especially with the Nougat updates similar to that is the Pixel phone with the latest updates. When owners of the N6p reported the bootloops Huawei replied it wasn't​ their fault and it had to do with Google. So since all of these phones have reported bootloops or bootloops of death there is one common thing they share and that is Google. So that's how I derived to my conclusion.

18. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

And is a lot of users the same large amount of users that had the fingerprint issues from the last update? Because I went to the Pixel forum they sourced the article from, and counted around 15 people with an actual issue. I just did a search on the Android Central forums and searched Nexus 6p and boot loop and got 6 results that were actually about the 6p. Two were due to the user screwing up when unlocking their devices bootloader, and one of them mentioned that when contacting Huawei about the issue they offered to send them a replacement as (Huawei's words) this was a known hardware issue. While your reasoning seems sound, one thing that screws it up is that the Google software you're saying is responsible (Android itself) is on a multitude of devices, and yet the majority of users experiencing bootlooping issues are on LG devices. As I said before, Motorola runs essentially stock Android with a few of their own apps having a bit of integration, and yet I've heard nothing of them having these issues.

6. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

This. I hope google stays far away from htc as possible. Although, i thought someone up there at google said that they already had the final design for the pixel 2 last year october?


Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

The next Pixel 2 is going to be manufactured by HTC based on their contract with Google. The bid for Pixel 3 is still open and most likely going to be taken either by LG or some other Chinese manufacturer.

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

They should have focused on the Pixel months ago. Fixed its hardware issues and made a hell of a lot more of them.

11. ECPirate37

Posts: 338; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

I was just talking about HTC earlier today. I miss them. They have lost their way. Around the time they had the EVO 3D come out, I would have picked them to overtake Samsung as the number one Android brand. They came out with the HTC one, and even with the hiccups it was my favorite phone of that generation. But then, it is like they quit evolving and just rested on their laurels. I'd love to see another strong brand emerge (would love for both HTC and Nokia to come back strong). I dislike going into T-mobile and only having the options of LG, Samsung, or Apple (save for a mid range ZTE).

14. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Up until late in the run of the Galaxy S2 or early in the run of the S3, HTC was the top Android OEM. But with Sense getting bloated and them always taking a hit in the performance and battery categories, people started to move away from them. They had about 3-4 years as the top dog, they just let it slip away.

12. tokuzumi

Posts: 1929; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

HTC makes great phones, but they don't have the street cred to sell their phones at top dollar right now. With the influx of cheap phones with near identical specs to HTC devices, it makes a tough case to spend $700 on a good phone from HTC, or a $400 almost as good phone from China. They should go back to their roots, and make devices for others, as their phones are usually solidly built. They were the windows mobile kings back in the day. And they basically made every Palm Treo device out there.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

HTC was the top Android OEM for the first 3-4 years since Android was introduced, but the faltered and lost it to Samsung. As for the Chinese OEMs offering competitive devices for roughly half the price of the flagships, that applies to all flagship producing OEMs, not just HTC.

17. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

If HTC wants to make their handsets more appealing, why not make some groundbreaking changes?(like the One M7 and it's Ultrapixel camera, HTC Zoe, amazing build quality, and amazing software) Right now, Sense to me is just another Android skin overshadowed by the likes of Samsung's TouchWiz. HTC could have a shot if it would have manufactured great mid-rangers, not $500 overpriced Helio P10s. And HTC, where did that analog hole go? There is no practical use to removing the 3.5 mm jack and USonic technology right now is not enough to convince me. Tips for HTC to make their next flagship:IP68, 5.5" 18:9 aspect ratio, QHD resolution, Headphone Jack, dual cameras like the One M8, metal unibody, IR Blaster, Boomsound, Centralized fingerprint scanner.(not on the lower part of the lower bezel like the HTC 10)

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