It's time to start early marketing for your upcoming devices, HTCEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Earnings reports can be some of the most pervasive and confusing bits of information to see their way into the public space. We wait to see these reports because we want to see how well, or how poorly, a company is doing when compared to no one else (that comes later), and just its own previous earnings. It's one way that the analysts out there make up their own reports, to gauge whether or not a company will be around all that much longer, and if they'll be profitable during that time.
It's also a surefire way to see reports proclaiming a particular company is "dead," and "on the way out." When it comes to companies like HTC, though, these catch phrases aren't new in the slightest. Last year, after HTC released a couple hundred (/exaggeration) different devices, and replaced their flagship One X device within six months of its launch with a One X+, people were quick to point to HTC's impending, inexorable demise.
Then, earlier this year, they threw a powerful right hook with the One. No one saw it coming, and so far it's been raking up the attention from Android and non-Android enthusiasts here in the United States. It's one of my favorite phones of all time.
But, according to HTC's earnings report earlier this morning, it doesn't look like the One has had a huge impact on HTC's fortune -- especially not in the way that they had wanted. As my fellow editor Alex pointed out in his article covering the report, HTC's June earnings are a bit of a mixed bag. I won't go over the full report again, but basically HTC didn't continue to see the income growth it wanted to into June, and the company's year-over-year totals weren't better, either.
Basically, it doesn't look like the One has continued to bring the cash in.
There is some shining light, though, and a lot of the weight could be put on the One's shoulders again. We know that Verizon Wireless is due to start carrying the high-end device here in due time, but we're still waiting to hear exactly when. It's supposed to be "later this summer," and we've already seen how the branding will look on the upcoming device thanks to recent leaks.
It's entirely possible that the momentum of the One has been lost since its launch, and that the Verizon-branded version will see some adoption, but not nearly at the level it could have had it been launched on the Big Red carrier at the same time as the other carriers. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, depending on how Verizon prices the unit and how aggressively HTC markets the handset on the largest U.S.-based wireless carrier, HTC could see quite a bit of adoption for the handset.
If HTC can make that happen, and then carry the attention for its One brand into the end of the year, that's great. That's the best scenario.
If that doesn't happen, then maybe it's time that HTC starts powering up the early marketing for two rumored devices: the HTC One Mini, and the HTC One Max (or T6). Maybe it's time that HTC starts doing some early marketing like Motorola is doing with their Moto X, and just get people ready in some kind of official capacity for what's coming. We've all see the leaks and rumors, sure, but that's different than hearing it come from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
If HTC were to start talking up the smaller and larger versions of the One, and prepare those niche markets for the specific device's launch later this year, it could keep attention on the company, and the positive attention they need leading into the holiday shopping season. Especially considering that HTC will be going up against Samsung's next Galaxy Note flagship device, and not to mention Apple's newest iPhone around the same time.
HTC has to start building some goodwill, starting now and carrying it right into the announcement of their new devices. It has to start as soon as possible.
But, what do you think? Do you think HTC's middling, if not disappointing, sales will continue to decline going into the end of 2013? Or can the company start turning things around with heavy marketing, the Verizon-branded One, and the impending launches of the One Mini and One Max? Can HTC compete head-to-head with Samsung and Apple later this year? Let me know what you think!