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there's no room for lagging behind, four months is still cutting it entirely too close when it comes to phones feeling outdated.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!

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC EVO 3D

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35 Reactions to this post

"Do you think HTC would see more success if their phones had longer shelf life?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Sean Watson
Sean Watson this is a tough question, cuz in the tech world, your phone becomes outdated a month or 2 after it gets released, no matter how "flagship" it is at the time of launch. so you have to fight the "do you release new to stay in front, or commit to something long term that gets passed by, and is outdated for a long time?" If you choose commit to something long term, you get forgotten. tech in 2013 is a what have you done for me this week kinda thing. If you are last week, you are irrelevant, so i don't know, i can't blame them for trying to stay in front. My problem is i don't care how much or how little they advertise, because i actually DO research. Htc makes brilliant phones, and i don't care if they don't spend 1 dollar to advertise them. If i think it's the best phone, i'll get it regardless, so im fine with them trying to stay in front
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa Yes...
Humza Ahmed
Humza Ahmed Your forgetting that everyday consumers don't think about SD cards and stock Android, all they need is marketing
Martin Smeaton
Martin Smeaton You spelled *battery* life wrong.
Bryce Poulton
Bryce Poulton I hope HTC is paying attention to this, and the article about carrier exclusives. Both offer very valid arguments for potential failure on their part. Nonetheless, I love HTC's design aesthetic and can't wait to get my hands on the One.
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan It's no such thing as to many phones & htc is usually the first with phone innovations before other oems. They other oems come out with said innovation & reap the rewards.
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan Just needs more commercials that's all. Their phones are fantastic /&they update faster than any other oem.
Sam Rick
Sam Rick Too many "flagship" phones too close to each other and lack of timely and continuous updates are HTC problems
Cal Turner
Cal Turner Cellphones in general don't last across the board. Its not in their interest to make them long lasting.
Jith Raj
Jith Raj Too many flagships spoil HTC :)
Devin Vosburgh
Devin Vosburgh ...as they retire the DNA...
Eric Magana
Eric Magana That's every phone except iPhones
Sheila Ellis
Sheila Ellis The shelf life for every phone is the same. They are EOL'd at 6 mos. I agree that the issue is rather one of upgrades rather than "shelf life." Bottom line: These are hardware manufacturers. They make money by selling units. They don't make money by software upgrades.
Shawn Smith
Shawn Smith Majority of people are sheep and have trouble making decisions for themselves. They need 1 option and a full blown marketing campaign telling them why. If you present them with too many options they get flustered. Me personally, I like quick upgrades and multiple options. I can control what device I want and if an upgrade is required. I don't need annual releases and 1 option. I'm more sophisticated then that.
??µ?t??? ???ts???
??µ?t??? ???ts??? my htc 8s lasts for like 3 days with full performance and is able to hit 4 when it conserves energy!
Tom Parkison
Tom Parkison Others have said, too many flagship phones made too quickly has made HTC look bad. Samsung has one flagship phone, the Galaxy S Series. The new Galaxy S4 will be out soon. Does that mean that the moment the S4 comes out on shelves the S3 won't be there? No, the S3 will still be sold for those who want to have a cheaper Galaxy S Series phone. Heck, there are even plans to do some slight upgrades to the S3 phone despite the fact that the S4 is going to be out. The way that Samsung is doing things is the way you don't alienate your customer base. HTC would do well to learn from Samsung in that regard.
Divjot Hersheys Singh
Divjot Hersheys Singh Yupp ! They have a very lil shelf life + battery olso ! Except these 2 phn of HTC r killer
Geffá Oliveira
Geffá Oliveira it seems that HTC runs on stupidity
K.j. Littlejohn
K.j. Littlejohn They would do better if they supported the one with at least 2 software upgrades and good marketing..
Christopher Anthony
Christopher Anthony htc would have more success if they didn't make crap.
Zia A. Wahab
Zia A. Wahab Looks like the One is coming to all carriers which is a great thing for them.
Anthony Evans Jr
Anthony Evans Jr short shelf life coming from the fact that they loose popularity fast
Orion Pax
Orion Pax It would kill even the Nexus...and Samsungs phones..if they put more marketing
Orion Pax
Orion Pax 2. Add SD card..
Orion Pax
Orion Pax 1. Put stock android
Orion Pax
Orion Pax They would do better IMO if they did a few things that would cater different people..
Brian J. Moore
Brian J. Moore I like HTC phones, the build quality is second to none.
Marcelo Gutemberg DeSouza
Marcelo Gutemberg DeSouza On the opposite, I believe HTC has success because of exactly that. Its wide gama of devices makes it innovative and so popular.
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen short shelf life is their fault. Releasing flagships at the beginning, middle, and end of the year does you no good.
Nick Chimento
Nick Chimento Very much so
Stephen Victor
Stephen Victor And low sodium options
Rove McClain
Rove McClain They come out with too many flagship devices. They defeat themselves. And this latest carrier exclusive with AT&T will do nothing but hurt them even more.
Richard Halm
Richard Halm HTC phones are junk there life span isn't very long I will never own them again I only buy Samsung (galaxy phones) or Motorola razr maxx hd is the bomb
Roy D. Jackson Jr
Roy D. Jackson Jr I think if they put more effort in supporting their devices through a decent marketing effort then it would definitely have a longer shelf life but if they abandon their own product then come out with some other flagship device in a few month then what else do you expect to happen?
Steve C Trevino
Steve C Trevino I think HTC would do even better to make or force Verizon to accept the One series instead of holding off for three more months to make it a Droid exclusive with Droid branding. A lot of people where hoping to see this beauty on big red's network. As far as the point of this post if they are doing away with the DNA it will still have updates, look at the Samsung charge which just received one not too long ago.

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