HTC has a special place in my heart as it's probably the manufacturer I've bought most of my hardware from. From Windows Mobile carrying over to Android, HTC is one of the most versatile manufacturers in the market today. However, just because a company is versatile doesn't mean that it's necessarily the best; HTC currently has one of the lowest market shares in the industry as it faces possibly a sixth consecutive decline for its quarterly sales. How does a company that was doing so well and held so much promise sink so low so quickly?
For starters, it might have something to do with the short shelf life of many of their phones.
In recent news, the super phone known as the HTC DROID DNA was discovered to have been pulled from Verizon's inventory after a short, four month shelf life. While we know that the mobile industry moves quickly and there's no room for lagging behind, four months is still cutting it entirely too close when it comes to phones feeling outdated. Unfortunately for HTC this isn't the first phone of theirs that got pulled a little too quickly after its release.
The HTC EVO 3D from Sprint was also a highly anticipated device for its time, albeit gimmicky as all get out. The selling point for the EVO 3D was not the 3D features, although some people bought into that, but more so the processing power and the longer battery life that separated it from its famous predecessor, the HTC EVO 4G. However, ask about the shelf life of the EVO 3D and you may be surprised to find out it didn't even make it to a year of shelf life and was discontinued only a few months after the EVO 4G was pulled.
While lasting almost a year is significantly better than four months, the short shelf life of many HTC phones doesn't stop there. The HTC Status, which was mentioned in one of my articles the other day when discussing the possibility of another attempt at a "Facebook Phone", only lasted on the shelf for 36 days before being pulled for good. While the official claim was that there was an issue with ordering screens, I think we all know that it probably had more to do with lack of interest in a phone of that nature more so than the lack of screens - if it's popular enough they would have found a way to make it work.
Or maybe not; I feel like the DROID DNA hasn’t done badly enough to warrant a pull.
The HTC DROID DNA deserves to have a longer shelf life. Just because the HTC One is coming out doesn't mean that it's going to completely nix sales of the DNA. Give your market some variety - but perhaps that would have been a better lesson to learn before releasing such a device on only one network. Carrier exclusives can easily kill a good phone, and HTC is in no position to be picky about who sells their phone. HTC's goal right now should be to focus on getting their phones into people's hands by whatever means necessary. I really liked what I saw from the DROID DNA, but I wasn't about to jump ship for it - and I feel sorry for anybody who did.
This makes me feel skeptical about buying into any HTC phone. While the One is my favorite device I've seen showcased so far this year, it bothers me knowing that it might just be a few short months before something else is released and the One is forgotten about. I need to be able to have trust in the company I'm purchasing a phone with that updates will continue to roll out past the 4 month mark. After all, we're stuck with these phones for two years for the most part; it's going to be a long 20 months.
Readers, how do you feel about this recent pull? Do you think that the HTC One will last on the shelves longer, or will it be ill-fated like other HTC products? Share your opinions with me in the comments!