HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?
From everything we've seen and heard, the HTC One could very well be the new gold standard in the mobile world, at least as far as the tech elite are concerned. Everything about the device is top quality, but as always, it's all in the execution that determines success. More specifically, it doesn't always matter if you have the best device if you can't market it properly and excite customers. So, we have to ask the question: is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

Obviously, the spec sheet of the HTC One looks amazing - 4.7-inch 1080p full HD screen with 468ppi, aluminum unibody, 9.3mm thin, 143 grams, 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, 2GB RAM, stereo front speakers, HDR microphone, 4G LTE, a 2,300mAh battery, and of course the HTC UltraPixel Camera. The trouble is that spec sheets don't tell the whole story

Yes, the new Snapdragon 600 crushed the benchmarks that we saw, but we still don't know how many apps are optimized enough to make the processor noticeably faster than the competition in real life usage. The demo images we've seen from the HTC UltraPixel Camera look amazing, but then again so do most demo shots. As always, real world tests will tell the whole story. The real story starts when the device gets into the hands of the users. And, the process of getting your device into the hands of the users falls into 3 parts. First: get people into the store with your marketing campaign.HTC is going hard with its new advertising campaign, but we're not sure it's the right way to go. 

HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

There has been a lot of talk about HTC's 2.0 marketing campaign, and new CMO John Wang. The idea of the "Marketing 2.0" push at HTC was said to be in making "holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach." As you can see with the new ad for the HTC One, it seems like Wang is going more for a passive-aggressive direction with the marketing. The text of the ad isn't so bad, but going with the headline "Everything your phone isn't" is a pretty bold claim. And, it's one that doesn't hold up too well until you get to the stereo speakers. The iPhone has a sleek aluminum unibody, and any Windows Phone or Android device can stream all of your favorite content to a certain extent. But, that brings us to the second way you make your device a winner: design.

Even if the text of the ad isn't the best, the phone itself looks very interesting, which could be enough to get users interested. And, as we learned with our hands-on, the HTC One is designed beautifully. It looks gorgeous, and feels great in the hand. It's the kind of device that you want to touch when you see it, so that helps a lot in getting it into the hands of users. At least, it gets the device into the hands of people already in the store. Once the device is in the users' hands, we get to the last piece of the puzzle: UI. 

HTC put in a lot of good work with the Sense UI. Some will say that the Sense 5.0 UI is borrowing heavily from Windows Phone, but the truth is that plenty of products have been moving to a graphically intensive tile arrangement for content: Windows Phone/Windows 8, Flipboard, Google+/Google Currents, Pulse, even the PhoneArena website and other news sites like The Verge. It's a pretty simple idea: you need something that conveys information and works well on touchscreens, and a graphically intensive tile layout is one of the best ways to do that. The one trouble with Sense 5.0 is that it is quite a departure from established Android UI design. 

HTC obviously needed something different, because what it had been doing wasn't working, but to remove all widgets and anything that users typically associate with Android in favor of the new BlinkFeed. Whatever the reason you may choose to explain Samsung's dominance of the Android market, the TouchWiz UI never strays too far from stock Android. HTC is taking a big risk in pushing this much of a UI change. It looks good, and it could very well work. At the very least, we're hoping that it doesn't add any more time to Android updates than a standard UI would. 

Conclusion

HTC is kind of going for broke with the HTC One. The company has steadily been losing ground in the smartphone race, so it has to be aggressive in order to make up ground. The company has abandoned the low-end market, and has been focusing on the high-end, but it still hasn't been able to make a dent in the market control Samsung and Apple have. We thought that the HTC One X last year was a pretty solid entry, but it didn't really make any waves. The new HTC One looks even better than the One X, and has the added benefits of coming to three of the four major US carriers, which the One X couldn't say, as well as having a possible headstart on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Getting on Verizon would give the One the best shot possible to generate some buzz and sales before the next flagship Galaxy hits the market, so we'll have to see if that works out. As is, the HTC One has the design and specs to be a success, but we need to see more from this new "Marketing 2.0" strategy before we get too optimistic.

Related phones

One
  • Display 4.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(18h 3G talk time)

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77 Comments

1. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

First of all, I think that BlinkFeed is a crap and even worse that there is no way how to turn off that crap... Second, I don't like that "Live Gallery"... CPU is beast!

3. Hunt3rj2

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

BlinkFeed can be turned off, I don't know what you've been reading. Live Gallery only deals with Zoe functionality. If you don't like it, just turn it off.

8. AnTuTu

Posts: 1580; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

@PhoneArenaUser: Please go and do some research before being a 1st person to post crap.

12. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

And I think that you talk crap and you should go and do some research! Engadget: "Now, BlinkFeed. This is simply a Flipboard-like tile interface that sits permanently on the main home page." CNET: "Worse, the HTC reps I spoke to confirmed that there's no way to shut BlinkFeed off entirely." TechCrunch: "For better or worse, there’s no way to turn the feature off..." So who is now talking crap?

10. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"BlinkFeed can be turned off, I don't know what you've been reading." Somewhere I read that and also just watched video from MobileGeeks and reviewer says the same that there is no way how to turn it off.

13. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I would assume that just like any Android device, the easiest way to get rid of it is to install an alternative launcher.

14. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I know, but still sad that there is no way how to do that by default. :(

19. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

You can disable the program like any thing on android. The tile will still but there. It just will be blank. Please quote the rest of engadget please, like how it can be disabled

22. Aeires unregistered

Why would you want a disabled tile? If you can disable it, you should be able to remove it.

28. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

It really isn't a disable option, you just uncheck all the options of things to be in your feed. I don't think anyone would want to do that though, the social networking options could be useful. Though, I agree, they should give the option for it to be removed.

59. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

It is not the same as disabling.

64. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Why is it such a problem that you can't disable it? First, you say you don't like it, but you've never actually used it, so that opinion doesn't hold much weight. Second, there are plenty of other high-end Android devices to choose from. If you don't like what HTC did, don't buy it. It's quite simple. And, as I said before, if you really have to buy the One and you still don't like BlinkFeed, then just install Nova Launcher, and you're good to go. This is the way Android works. If you don't like what Samsung/HTC/Sony does, you don't buy it, but no manufacturer isn't going to make it easy to get rid of their UI. Of course, that's why Nexus exists.

72. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"First, you say you don't like it, but you've never actually used it, so that opinion doesn't hold much weight." Yes, that's true I never actually used it and I don't know what is the feeling of using BlinkFeed. But you know what, I even don't want to try it because I already know that I don't need it, I just don't feel a need for it! And I believe that there is more people who don't want it and I'm also sure that there will be people who will try it and do not want it anymore, so why HTC just didn't leave the facility to turn it off by default for those who don't want it? Is it so hard? Also if I have never used something, that doesn't mean that I can't have subjective opinion about that, right? "Second, there are plenty of other high-end Android devices to choose from." Yes, I agree. At the moment I'm interested in Sony Xperia Z and HTC One and that's why I'm counting pros and cons in my mind about these two devices. And since this article is about HTC One I'm expressing my opinion about it and not about any other device. "If you don't like what HTC did, don't buy it. It's quite simple." Yes, it is simple. But not so simple when you actually like it but hate bloatware inside of it. "And, as I said before, if you really have to buy the One and you still don't like BlinkFeed, then just install Nova Launcher, and you're good to go." Yes, I consider about doing that.

75. AnTuTu

Posts: 1580; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

After reading all of your comments above what I can do is :- hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahah

76. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I understand you because now you feel butthurt because you already made fool of yourself in comment #8 and now you just don't have anything reasonable to say. ;)

6. AnTuTu

Posts: 1580; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Question: HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again? Answer: OFCOURSE YES.

18. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"...but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?" Not if your toy isn't available to ~50% of the cellular subscribers in the U.S.

27. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Since when did AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile make up less than 50% of the cellular subscribers in the U.S?

43. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

My bad. Typing too fast and after 2 minutes, no editing ability. VZW has a little over 20% (21%?) of the cellular subscribers in the U.S. The point still applies - there are 67 million subscribers who are being ignored.

50. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I'm still wondering why Verizon passed on the One. Is it because the DNA is still in their spotlight, or is it because HTC didn't let Verizon change it to how they wanted?

2. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I really love HTC new design but i can't live with out having a SD MICRO card slot.

4. Hunt3rj2

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

I heard rumors that Sprint might have microSD because they do not have SIM slot.

7. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Even 64GB + USB On-The-Go (if HTC One supports it) ? :)

32. b1acktiger

Posts: 223; Member since: May 19, 2012

Jelly bean running One X, One S and One X+ supports USB OTG, why Wouldn't htc one supports ?

60. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Then it is even better. 64GB + USB On-The-Go and there is no need for SD card. :)

15. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Solution: Wait for Samsung's beast.

70. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

Inspector, do you really need more than 64GB of storage? What exactly are you doing that you can't live below that number???

11. htc_prep

Posts: 303; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

yes i think that this phone can make it. at least it can be placed back into the sphere of phones that will get people talking about HTC again. and to a remark made in the article about the iPhone being aluminium, the iPhone isn't made out of aluminium it only has an aluminum framed chassis to support the antenna the back is polymer and glass.

16. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Lets see how much of a coverage BBZ10 gets when they launch in US ...24 hrs was all HTC's which shows how "Hard On" they have been on marketing right from word GO :)

17. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Good marketing + availability + product quality = success. The One has all of these things, aside from marketing which we will see fully in the next few days. Good luck HTC.

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