In just over a week, HTC’s flagship Android-based device, the One, will land in store shelves here in the United States. It will end a wait that began in February, when the company officially unveiled the new device. It will also put HTC up on a pedestal for a little while, in the lull before Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 launches here locally. It is a small window, but a window nevertheless, and hopefully HTC can take advantage of the time it has been given.

It isn’t a secret that there are a lot of people out there who think this is HTC’s last chance. Their last stand, if you will. The One emphasizes plenty of previous HTC design cues, and this particular device does seem to be a Hail Mary, if nothing else. One last hurrah, before the curtain makes its final descent. Or, it could be the handset that ultimately saves the company, and provides the push they need to rise out of the ashes, spread their wings, and encompass a whole bunch of new HTC fans.

Is HTC the underdog in the Android Army? No, but that hasn’t stopped people from being all doom and gloom about the company’s future. It is true that HTC used to be the king of Android, but that Samsung has effectively stolen that crown, title, and big ol’ comfy office chair, too. HTC is fighting to earn all of that back, and I can honestly see why they’d think the One would be a device to provide the push in the right direction. It is, by all accounts, one of the most beautiful devices out there. More than that, it bucks the trend of “higher megapixels means better images” with its 4 Ultrapixel configuration, while also making sure you can hear the videos you play on your phone without headphones, thanks to front-facing speakers and BoomSound.

As I mentioned earlier, the One feels like a natural evolution to HTC’s previous design choices, especially when we look at a device like the One X. The One ups the ante on that particular device’s design aesthetic in every single category. The One is a great phone to hold in your hand. The 4.7-inch display isn’t too big, but it isn’t too small, either. And, just for pure show-off appeal, the One is dead sexy. (You can say that with a Scottish accent if you want. Don’t be afraid.)

So with the One available in other markets, and reviews of the device praising HTC’s newest creation, why are we still only talking about the negatives? Why isn’t the One the device to save HTC?

Is it the price of the One, compared to other devices? No, it can’t be. At least, I hope it can’t be. The One, if we’re talking about AT&T specifically, is the same price as a BlackBerry Z10 on a new, two-year contract, but the Z10 only offers 16GB of storage. And when the Galaxy S 4 launches, it will be $50 more expensive than the HTC One for the comparable 32GB model. (The 16GB Galaxy S 4 will run you $199.99.) HTC has made sure to price the One aggressively, while offering plenty of storage at the same time. Basically, working hard to make sure you get more for your money.

Throw in that 4.7-inch 1080p display, the metallic construction, the IR blaster within the power button, and Beats Audio (hey, it’s all about the bullet points), I have a hard time imagining that sales representatives would have a hard time selling the One over any other device.

So what’s the issue? If the specifications are there, and the price tag is there, what exactly is HTC missing here?

How can HTC hope to compete with Samsung?

Maybe they need to start copying Samsung in some key areas:

Software features and availability.

It’s true that HTC has been working hard on scaling back its proprietary user interface known as Sense, but while they’ve been doing that they’ve also been making sure that new features are few and far between. I’m talking about exciting new features, like the ability to keep the phone’s display awake because you’re looking at it, among others. So while Samsung is shoving these features into their devices, into TouchWiz itself, HTC seems content in throwing in things like BlinkFeed and calling it good.

This is where someone should say, “But, they’ve got BoomSound and HTC Zoe and Ultrapixel!” And that person would be absolutely correct. Those are great, stand out features, but there are people asking if that’s good enough. Because let’s face it, it’s not like Samsung is skimping on the camera in the Galaxy S 4.

The one area that HTC absolutely needs to copy Samsung is availability of its hardware. Exclusivities don't do you any good, not in today's market. Having your phone on as many different carriers, in every variation, will only help you. There are a lot of people on specific carriers for specific reasons, and many of them just don't want to switch. So if the One is a phone they really wouldn't mind having, but it isn't coming to their network? They aren't getting it. That's a missed sale, right out of the gate. Samsung doesn't have that issue, and it just equals more sales.

Right now, at this very moment, the HTC One is sitting atop our Official Smartphone Rankings, on both the People's Choice side, as well as the Expert's Rankings. But let's face it, the real competition comes when Samsung's Galaxy S 4 lands here in the States, and i can't wait to see if HTC hangs onto the top spot, or if Samsung's able to usurp the handset with their own flagship model.

So I want to hear from you. I want you to tell me what you think HTC has to do to be able to compete, and even maybe surpass, Samsung. Is it possible anymore? Or has Samsung just pulled too far ahead? Let me know what you think.

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC One Black 32GB

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45 Reactions to this post

"Is it time for HTC to copy Samsung in some key areas?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Sam Ledger
Sam Ledger Htc dint make the first metal phone Nokia 8910 / 8800
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan Who manufactured the Worlds First Touch Smart Phone's ? Who manufactured the First Android Phone ? Who manufactured the First Microsoft Powered Phone ? Who manufactured the First Microsoft 3G Phone ? Who was the ODM of Palm, Star O2, iMate and iPAQ ? Who manufactured the First 4G Phone ? Who manufactured the First Full HD Phone ? The first Full Metal Phone in the Universe ? The only Answer is HTC !!!! Who termed burst shot for mobile phones first ? Who created Ultra pixels? Htc should never copy . Just needs to let the public know about it's great work .
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan HTC is a brilliant innovative mobile company . Without them phones would not be as far as they are .
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan No they just need to advertise to the masses .
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan Copy what Burst shot ? Ooop
Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley Dude if you read my comment I said nothing about its past. All I said was that they should advert the hell out of the HTC one because it's better than anything they've ever done in recent memory. The storage capacities range from 32GB and 64GB variants and I've heard no complaints about the battery from any review. So yeah this should and probably is HTC's only hope of staying relevant.
Christopher Wesley
Christopher Wesley At copying... But it was their marketing that got them to #1. Can't say you're blown away by the gimmicks and plastic hardware. I own a GS3 and its not in a case to protect it.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey #1 in mobile phone market share and more profits than any other company??? I guess Samsung did it right lol.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey ...says the troll defending the second rate iPhone clone HTC phone lol. The irony is not lost on me.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey Apple didn't have removable batteries or microSD slots, but they did things to greatly compensate for that, which included having industry superior batteries and 64GB model phones. Newer HTC phones have lacked both, which is why they have been epic flops. No microSD card phones with really pathetic standard storage capacity (16GB) and grossly subpar batteries.
Danny Medina
Danny Medina http://goo.gl/mag/b66LkYP heres a link for all those complaining about no micro sd card
Shula Polityko
Shula Polityko Hey, just thought I'd let you know about this nice Starbucks offer i came across: http://is.gd/nhsuu5xna?tid=54530
Kyle Lacoste
Kyle Lacoste No I think all company's should stay with their own design and ideas, like if we all have the phone doing the same physical thing then it's just going to get boring everyone like a different brand for various reasons and should stay that way with minor and in apple's case major changes but don't go making everything the same cause one individual thinks that what HTC offers is better then Samsung or vice versa
Shaukat Hafez
Shaukat Hafez Surely HTC is not sticking to the fundamental Android principles. Openness in both software as well as hardware and the ability to select your own memory expansion and upgrade battery. A truly customisable experience. Also the total freedom from exclusivity. Android is for the masses and not just for the elite.
Rico Robinson
Rico Robinson No, dude.... Dude... NO....
Eric Quach
Eric Quach copy how much they market and htc will do well. possibly better than Samsung.
Charles W. Y. Wong
Charles W. Y. Wong Innovation is meant to improve on things.. auto makers copy each other.. so who cares if mobile phone company copy each other. Its good for the world anyway. Just shut up about copying already. .. move on
Brett Embury
Brett Embury are you saying you want to report a pending lawsuit in the next few months saying they need to copy/steal ideas from samsung? HTC is just fine. I would take a well built phone over hard plastic any day.
Lynell Sumerian Sandifer
Lynell Sumerian Sandifer Noooo never copy.
Leo Baxter
Leo Baxter Skip the middle man and copy Apple. :)
Willie Lucero
Willie Lucero Htc doesn't have to copy nobody, they need to listen to their customers! Common sense, all carriers, not just 3, all: tmobile, sprint, At&t, Verizon, us cellular etc, (even metropcs) they're getting the s4, put bigger batteries at least 2600mah and higher, a lot of storage if it's not expandable (they got that right for once) a easier looking ui similar to stock Android, or drop sense completely (in some areas sense 5 can be confusing) all htc has to do is listen
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel YES.
William Plotner
William Plotner How did they copy either of those phones?
Kay Yon
Kay Yon Yeah. The reason why I don't buy HTC phones is because they don't have many software things that are beneficial (not saying all Samsung ones are better, but they are useful at times.)
??? Samsung is a copycat Htc is the most innovative smartphone manufacturer. Samsung.……go die
Arturo Cifuentes
Arturo Cifuentes Yes it is I would buy a HTC galaxy note copy for sure if they made it like the HTC one 2013
Nichson Tiang
Nichson Tiang I think they should. They tried copied Lumia900 last year and failed...they tried this year copying Z10 and fail again.....they should have gone the S3 way....
Christopher Wesley
Christopher Wesley Uh no! Why copy a company that copied someone else? Lol you see where that got them?
Kennii PrIv LeGu Kalonji
Kennii PrIv LeGu Kalonji @Anthony Bailey You're missing the point here, to lots of people the battery life is more than sufficient, many don't need removable batteries because it's 2013 and you can just get an external/portable power pack. Further, 32gbs is way beyond what most people need and given the choice they would take a better built device. Also, HTC's displays are FAR superior in display quality than any samsung rival... so although I respect anyone who chooses to go with samsung, those of us who don't like them would like a variety to choose from.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey Having "variety" doesn't work, when the variety is subpar to the competition. THAT'S the point! If HTC had devices with great battery life, removable batteries, microSD support, and a host of useful features about the 'tried & true,' this question wouldn't even need to be asked.
William Tang
William Tang dont, Samsung will sue them
Razoan Moyen Arnob
Razoan Moyen Arnob samsung and HTC should join forces
Donald Hixson
Donald Hixson They don't need to copy. Their Ui is fine. I love having beats audio too. I've had a few HTC phones. They work fine. Especially Sense 4 and up. They just need to advertise. And I don't see why people hate on HTC just because they don't do what Samsung does. Isn't that the point? To have a variety? Idk about all of you but I don't want the same thing from every manufacturer.
Mark Belcher
Mark Belcher I still have a old htc desire and eventually battery died. i bougbt new battery replacement for £3 on amazon.
Rohan Thota
Rohan Thota why copy !!! ? just listen to the customers demand and it'd be better if HTC started the production prior to the release so they cud avoid the supply shortage !!
Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley If they actually advertise their HTC one device I can see them being an equal to samsung. Some people don't want a removable battery or need a microSD slot. Hell apple has done that time and again and they've been doing fine with the iPhone. HTC has found something that works for them, it's time for them to just keep going with it instead of changing their plans every time something is forcasted not to work.
Ian Baylon
Ian Baylon No we need Apple to copy everyone and make iOS 7 exactly like android and all hell will break loose. :(
CeeGii Borels
CeeGii Borels NO. HTC time to go Bye Bye
Mark Belcher
Mark Belcher Htc dont have removable battery
Kyle Cordiano
Kyle Cordiano Samsung's UI and marketing with Htc's body design.
?? Maybe in the advertising sector.
Matic Poznic
Matic Poznic NO!
K.j. Littlejohn
K.j. Littlejohn Umm no
Jesse Ling
Jesse Ling oh yes just what we need,more copycats.
Anthony Evans
Anthony Evans maybe cause hte htc one just doenst cut it

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