Should HTC have staggered the One Series launch?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 12, 2012

Sometimes, showing your entire hand works out, and other times it doesn’t. There’s something to be said about going all-in, banking on one thing, or just a handful of things, while the rest of the industry sticks to their game plans of old. It’s a risky move, but it’s a move that can be ultimately rewarding if it’s done right, and the product you’re going all-in with is good enough to stand the test of time. Or, more specifically, good enough to stand up against everything else every other manufacture still has coming down the pipe.

That’s the position HTC currently finds themselves in. And it’s a position that they have put themselves in by design, not just with the way that they have released their new high-end phones this year, but also with their new smartphone strategy in general. We’ve talked extensively in the past about how HTC wants to focus on quality, rather than quantity. It’s that mentality that could be the most damaging to HTC’s plans, due to the fact that they may have gone all-in way too early.

When the HTC One Series was unveiled, the Galaxy S III by Samsung was still just a wild rumor. Even now, well after the announcement, and even the launch of some One Series devices, we still have no idea what Apple will be unveiling with iOS 6 and the new iPhone. Furthermore, there are still other Android manufacturers who aren’t sticking to that “quality over quantity” mantra, and will more than likely be showing off plenty of new high-end devices throughout the year, all across the globe.

HTC may have jumped the gun.

Taylor likes the One X and HTC’s new ImageSense technology, even if the battery doesn’t do it for him. And, after I’ve played around with a One X myself, I can say that it’s definitely a nice phone. HTC has indeed made sure that there is a new focus on quality, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. HTC should be applauded for this new focus.

However, the problem comes in the fact that it’s only May. We’re not even halfway through the month, and HTC has already unveiled their heavy hitter months ago. There is still so much time left in the year, and other manufacturers are still creating high-end devices (including Samsung), that it could very well be possible that HTC gets lost in the past.

Now, this is a simple issue, and even a non-issue, if HTC is working on a new device that is equal, if not better than, the One X, which they plan on releasing at the tail-end of the year. They will obviously have to have something coming down the pipe to combat Apple’s new iPhone, along with the Cupertino-based company’s new iOS. I find it hard to believe that HTC would hope that a phone launched at the beginning of the year, albeit with high-end specifications, would be their answer to the new iPhone.

What makes this worse, is the fact that HTC is obviously perfectly fine with releasing devices that aren’t up to the One Series bar. We’ve seen as much from the DROID Incredible 4G LTE that is releasing for Verizon at some point in the future. While this is an easy argument against HTC’s “quality over quantity” position, the real focus is on the fact that HTC may have shown all their cards too soon.

I was speaking with someone about the One S not too long ago, and they told me that they firmly believe that the One S could have stood out on its own for a launch. While plenty of focus was put on the One X, the One S is a very good phone in its own regard. That got me thinking that maybe HTC should have unveiled either the One S or One X on their own, earlier in the year, and then the other later in the year (along with the One V). Ideally, I’d think the One S would be the standard (if not mid-range?) of the One Series, and could easily be adopted onto more carriers.

And then you’ve got the One X to combat the new iPhone later this year.

As it stands right now, I think there’s a good possibility that HTC’s efforts are forgotten by those who didn’t already buy a One X or One S by the time other phones launch down the line.

Do you think HTC could have done better if they staggered the launch of their One Series devices? Let me know in the comments!


Products mentioned