I don't want to see HTC flood the market with phones againEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
According to a report yesterday, we're just about two weeks away from getting the invitation to see HTC's newest flagship device. The handset, which is still rumored to be codenamed the M8 --and could be called the One 2 when it launches--, has already received a lot of attention long before its release, and the lakes and rumors are just going to get more common the closer we get to launch. It's not a surprise that HTC execs are starting to talk about the device now, too, considering we're inching closer to that speculated March announcement date.
HTC's actually doing the right thing leading up to the launch. They're teasing the device in all the right ways, but at the same time teasing what's going to happen with their company as a whole. They're laying a lot of things out, explaining their motivations and aspirations. There's still secrecy, just because there has to be, but what they're talking about now is a good way to start 2014.
It's making a lot of people excited for what's to come from the company.
Speaking of hints, in that same report that gave us an expectation date for the M8's invitation to arrive, HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang made some comments about what the company plans on focusing on in 2014, and probably for the foreseeable future, and it may not be what you expected.
The company is indeed launching a successor to the One, and it will more than likely be the flagship device for 2014, but HTC's going to put the majority of their focus on mid-range devices. Wang pointed out that they still plan on giving attention to the high-end devices, but something stood out to me.
"The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market."
When I look back at 2013, I can almost understand where Wang is coming from here. I don't think I ever saw a commercial about the One mini or One max. However, at the same time, most of the commercials that were meant to talk about the One itself, didn't really talk about the One at all. And after some brief excitement about color options for specific carriers/retailers, any attention towards HTC's flagship died out all over again.
If that means the focus on the M8 is going to be even less after its announcement this year, and that HTC is going to expend most of their energy on mid-level devices like the One mini successor, I can't help but wonder a little bit.
It makes sense that HTC would launch mid-range devices, especially in emerging/developed markets. If they can move a lot of devices that sell for anywhere between $150 and $300, that'll get them some profit. And if HTC can push forward with marketing as they intend to, and make people interested in the M8 in the other markets around the world, this could be a winning strategy.
But does that mean we're going to see HTC go back to their old ways? Meaning, are we going to see HTC flood the market with phones again? Different variants, with slightly different names ("Add an SV, it makes sense!"), and similar specs across the board in varying regions on the planet. It's been a couple of years since HTC made the promise to slim back their lineup -- maybe they plan on going back to that specific tactic, to see how it pans out.
I don't want to see HTC go back to that at all. I'd rather watch the company build --and price-- a few devices very well, and use their money to market them well enough to actually make them compelling to consumers. I've got my fingers crossed for what's to come, but it's definitely getting more interesting.
What do you think HTC should do this year? Should the company put their focus on the M8, with marketing and such, and release a flood of mid-range devices in international markets like they used to? Or do you think they should just release a small number of devices, and market all of it as best they can? Let me know!