HTC's market share continues to drop; can this company be saved?

HTC's market share continues to drop; can this company be saved?
HTC has a major problem on its hand. According to industry analysts, the manufacturer has seen its global smartphone market share shrink to less than 2%. That is down sharply from a peak of 10.7% seen in the second quarter of 2011. HTC itself estimated that it held a 2% share in 2013. The problem doesn't seem to be with its products. After all, many called the HTC One (M8) the best Android handset at the time it was released earlier this year.

What is the problem? 1.5 billion smartphones are expected to be sold next year, and apparently HTC isn't delivering what the people want. Or is that really the issue? How can you explain the positive reaction to the HTC One (M8) while the company loses market share at the same time? It isn't as though HTC didn't listen to its customers. It boosted the CPU on the (M8) and added a microSD slot to the device.

While researchers can continue to give their reasons for HTC's decline, we continue to come back to the absolutely poor job of marketing that the manufacturer has done in an effort to sell its phones. With the HTC One (M7) hampered by an absolutely hideous ad campaign that starred Robert Downey Jr. (who was reportedly paid $12 million to do the ads), the company fared no better this year when it hired Gary Oldman to star in an absolutely ridiculous series of commercials that told us nothing about HTC and its flagship phone.

There is nothing in these spots that tells you how solid the HTC One (M8) feels in your hand. Nor do the ads give you a sense of how zippy the Snapdragon 801 feels, especially compared to the Snapdragon 600 that powered the HTC One (M7). And speaking of sense, do any of the millions of people viewing these commercials know that many prefer Sense over TouchWiz? And the amazing thing is that not too many phones get hyped as much prior to launch, as the HTC One (M8) was. It was as though an Olympic gymnast was doing a routine perfectly, and just when it was time for the dismount, she stumbled and fell flat on her face.

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Would a different focus in marketing have resulted in much larger sales for the manufacturer? Let's put it this way. If you can't describe what it is that you want to sell to the consumer, how does he know that he wants to buy it? And asking the internet doesn't mean anything.

HTC's problem might have nothing to do with the phones they turn out. The problem is getting the public to want its phones. Apple can do this in its sleep, and Samsung isn't that far behind. HTC, on the other hand, has not clearly stated why the public must have an HTC phone to make life worthwhile.  The company is close on the device side, but it needs to get out a message and identity that resonates with the public. If this can't be fixed ASAP (or Stat, as Doctors would say), the sand in the hourglass will soon run out. With a global market share of less than 2%, the abyss is staring the company in the face.

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source: Forbes

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