Insider says HTC is "in utter freefall"

Insider says HTC is
Today has not been a good news day for HTC. Earlier, we not only heard that the company's Chief Product Officer had left the company last week, but another of a string of employees to leave the company recently told his former colleagues to "just quit. leave now." It has been a rough week, and now an inside source for The Verge has said that HTC is "in utter freefall".

As we mentioned earlier, HTC's Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, was just the latest employee to leave the company. Jason Gordon, the company's Vice President of Global Communications left recently as well. Neither Kodera nor Gordon have announced if they have new jobs lined up. But, others who have left HTC have, like Global Retail Marketing Manager Rebecca Rowland, and Product Strategy Manager Eric Lin (who was the man behind the tweet telling others to "just quit. leave now.") who are both joining Microsoft, and Director of Digital Marketing John Starkweather who will be joining AT&T. 

And, employees leaving isn't the only problem for HTC. The company's flagship HTC One has been hit with inventory issues since its launch (which are said to have been fixed), which apparently was not a surprise to those on the inside. Word has it that the HTC staff warned CEO Peter Chou of supply and manufacturing delays months before the One was to launch. Add that to the essential failure of the HTC First (even if a fair amount of blame there should be on Facebook Home rather than HTC,) and the rumor that CEO Peter Chou could step down if the HTC One isn't a retail success, and there are a lot of reasons to be hesitant about the future of HTC.

The source for The Verge not only said the company was "in utter freefall", but went as far as to liken the state of HTC to T-Mobile from two years ago, when T-Mo was facing a subscriber exodus, and closing retail stores en masse. T-Mobile's troubles ended with AT&T attempting and failing to acquire the company, so any comparison to that situation for HTC is certainly troubling. 

Sales of the HTC One have supposedly rebounded after the initial inventory problems, but with the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the market and selling like... well, selling like a Samsung Galaxy S phone (estimates put the SGS4's first month sales at 10 million), HTC may have missed its window. We had said right from the start that as amazing as the HTC One looked in terms of build quality, it needed to make a splash in the market before the Galaxy S4 hit stores in order to have a real chance. The name recognition alone on the Galaxy brand makes it difficult for competitors without having to deal with inventory and supply problems as well. Additionally, HTC wasn't able to capitalize on its headstart, because while it did generate buzz around the One in the tech community, its "Marketing 2.0" campaigns generated little to no buzz in casual consumers. 

This doesn't necessarily mean that it is all doom for HTC, but at the very least, it makes CEO Peter Chou's position very tenuous, and makes us believe there are going to be some big changes inside the company.

source: The Verge

FEATURED VIDEO

98 Comments

1. jcpwn2004

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 18, 2012

Continue to not listen to customers and this is what happens. I have no sympathy, it's sad though because 2-3 years ago HTC was a leader in innovation.

7. jcpwn2004

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 18, 2012

You guys can down vote me as much as you want but HTC needs to hear the truth. I have nothing against HTC and think the ONE is a beautiful phone.

10. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

The ONE is a beautifully designed device...at least as far as the exterior is concerned. But innovation...where in particular? Ultrapixels...really? Consider HTC's patent portfolio realtive to the rest of its peers. It's not exactly leading in that department. If it were, I doubt HTC would've made the error, if you believe it was an error. to source Nokia components for its "Distortion Free Recording". Which brings to the following question...whatever happened to the Distortion Free Recording on the HTC ONE...is it on the device or not? Bueller...Bueller...

44. androidrocks

Posts: 63; Member since: Apr 14, 2012

Stoli89, please read jcpwn2004 first post again, he wrote --> HTC "WAS" a leader in innovation

66. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

The HTC has innovated with the One more then any other company. They have changed more about how we think of smartphones then the S4, LG Opt. or iPhone. The S4 may be leading in sale but, that says absolutely nothing about innovation. Nobody has Front facing speakers, None of the phones this year have a gapless metal casing. HTC has brought a new button layout to the table. Ultrapixel camera with a practical megapixel count. Had an IR Blaster b4 the S4. New app draw functionality. All of what I just listed were new things brought to the market with the One. I think they are still leading in innovation just not in sales and thats not there fault. Their going up against giants with HUGE marketing budgets.

56. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

Its not on the versions of the HTC One produced after they ran out of mics.

96. gnacho2003

Posts: 1; Member since: May 24, 2013

I was wondering about the distortion free recording myself and emailed HTC asking about it. They got back to me within 12 hours, so the company actually is capable of good customer service, and said that the HTC One actually does have a microphone on the back for noise cancellation.

50. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

You're right. I owned HTC exclusively for 3 years. And man, did they go down hill.

67. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

We agree there. The One is a beautiful phone but, that doen't mean your comment wasn't wrong.

17. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Even before this, you are actually going to use that “which” anyone would want to innovate and such is the case with HTC... If only one can assume that on such a basis they could have decided to do more, then HTC could have been much further than this. Ultrapixel? Seriously HTC, is that your answer?

35. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

hey I agree with you. They just lost it.

39. StringCheese01

Posts: 64; Member since: Jan 27, 2012

You know what could easily fix (some of) HTC's problems? DITCH Sense and go with stock Android! They already make amazing hardware, but their software is overly complicated. Sense is powerful and beautiful, but I think Sammy had better luck with TouchWiz because it was a little less intricate. I hope this doesn't happen I was rooting for HTC :(

80. deacz

Posts: 162; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

sense is worlds better than TouchWiz imo, lighter and better looking

45. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2474; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Sometimes it takes a company to reach rock bottom before it can truly come out on top. The article mentions T-Mobile and how they were on a path to bankruptcy until they instituted their new "no contract" plans that have helped save the company (and their merger with Metro PCS did help a lot as well, but I moreso think of the merger as giving T-Mobile more time to implement the plans needed to set the company on the right path). I am also reminded of companies like Ford, one of Detroit's Big Three, and how it turned itself around by focusing on building cars consumers wanted (and they did it within a year. They were the first out of the Big Three to post a positive quarterly earnings report.) You see, from here on out every decision HTC makes counts. They either have to make innovative and quality products or they will fail. I hope the best for them and I hope they become another success story.

57. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

HTC doesn't listen to customers though so they will never regain what they lost.

86. pulkit.tyagi

Posts: 35; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

all these articles talking about HTC's free fall remind me of 2011 & 2012 when nokia was going through the same phase but look at them today they are selling less devices but have returned to making profit . i think HTC still has a chance , they made very good devices up until desire hd and now with HTC one they have shown they can make a very good device.

62. av911 unregistered

I think T-Mobile rebounded when AT&T injected $4 billion dollars to T-Mobile for the failed acquisition.

97. lonehawk2k4

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

i think that money went T-mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom for Deutsche Telekom to use for themselves and not for T-mobile

65. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

HTC has listened to customers. Just because they my not of included whatever feature you wanted doen't mean that you can ignore the tons of other thing HTC as changed year after year based on customer request. - Streamlined UI. Sense 5 is WAY lighter then Touch Wiz which takes up half of the 16GB S4's memory. - Attempting to make Sense 5 more intuitive with two button layout. - HTC One Dev. Edition with Unlocked Boot-loader - Front facing Speakers - Premium materials - Unibody design so your phone doesn't break into peaces every time you drop it. - Blinkfeed because people wanted their social media in one place I'm sure there is more... They even went out of their way, directly breaking their own design strategy of "No moving parts" to make the Chinese version of the HTC One has dual sim slots AND a microSD slot because, because the market overwhelmingly demanded it. People are always so hard on these companies as if they owe us everything we ask of no matter how impractical. HTC has not let the customers down, in fact it's exactly the opposite.

68. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Well said, and a excellently written post, my friend. I regret I only have one "thumbs up" to give you.....

87. pulkit.tyagi

Posts: 35; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

there let me help you out ! (Y)

74. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

They should'ev made a designer brand version, with premium materials, with no expense spared to a device that would attract everyone to pose, showoff, fashion, style, and prestige, like the iPhone. But no they should'ev tried with a Special-Edition! Bootloaders are locked No SD card No removal battery No Devs support Hardly any ROMS for rooting aswell as for hackers Listen to what you're customer needs and wants, not what you assume, or think, like! Good luck, wishing all the best to HTC, bless™

78. ar2730

Posts: 42; Member since: May 24, 2012

Personally I don't need an SD card, a removal battery, and I don't do rooting. I consider myself an average consumer. 32 gigabytes an a battery that last all day is enough for me!!! Plus I think the design quality is on par with the iPhone! Th

98. lonehawk2k4

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Exactly people that go into these discussions are far more knowledgeable than the average buyer of smartphones and expect more when the status quo of the market is probably going to be lower since they're not that involved with the product. As long as it works and looks good they'll be happy with it without any complaints and they're the majority. Those of us that choose to root are the minorities and for the biggest amount of success companies will target the majority to maximized profit and sales. Although as far as I know HTC is the only company that actually releases their phones with an unlocked bootloader. Since they knew there was a good amount of people rooting their devices they decided to make it open so it's an easier process. So anyone saying they don't listen to customer I would have to respectfully disagree with that point. oh jeez this ended up being a lot longer than I thought. I guess thats what I get for ranting lol

2. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

HTC and Peter Chou, don't give up, this is not the end of the world. Keep it up! You're the One!

4. jcpwn2004

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 18, 2012

You think Chou is good? I think he's pretty ignorant. All he seems to care about when making new phones is Design and gimmicks like beats by dre or blink feed.

9. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Chou is a good CEO. Blinkfeed and Beats by Dre is not gimmick, Blinkfeed gives you latest news and Beats by Dre (speaker, headphone) have the best sound quality in my opinion.

20. cakvalasc

Posts: 17; Member since: Jan 24, 2010

I just got the HTC one and love Blinkfeed and the speaker setup, it is fantastic design.

22. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

You got the HTC One? Awesome!

29. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Blinkfeed, speakers nor the design contribute to adding a better user experience. GS4 gimmicks > HTC One.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.