I don't think anyone seriously wants to see a company fail. Sure, we see the rhetoric all the time in comment threads all across the Internet, but I hope no one actually wants another person to lose their job. I know I sure don't. That's why when I see any company struggling through a long period of fumbles, especially in the mobile industry where its consumers can be so fickle sometimes (all the time?), I can't help but wish for the best. It doesn't even matter if I don't like a lot of their handsets or software. I still don't want to see them fail.
Through the last few years, when people talked about HTC, it usually meant they'd start talking about "declining sales" and "what can save them" before it was all said and done. There's no doubt that HTC had indeed found itself in a tight spot, repeatedly, and there was some sincere concern that they might not be able to really turn anything around.
Not with Apple and Samsung continuing to grab mindshare.
It didn't help when both LG and Motorola stunned a lot of people with phones that people would actually like to buy (again). In the case of Motorola and LG, they released their handsets near the tail-end of 2013, which meant that HTC's flagship device for the year, the One, was out of a lot of people's minds. Sure, many could guess that a successor was "right around the corner," but for anyone who wanted a new phone now, both LG and Motorola (and even Samsung, with the Galaxy Note 3) were offering brand new devices.
That didn't keep the original One from topping our Official Smartphone Rankings, though, right up until the launch of the One M8. And, as you might expect, the One M8 is now resting comfortably in the top spot -- both in the People's Choice and Expert's Choice categories.
Last year, HTC had a hit on their hands. I think the only thing that may have made them stumble a little bit throughout the year was the way they released the handset. Exclusivities right from the get go, and many others throughout the year with color schemes and carriers (even big box stores) all limited the device's availability to consumers across the country, and that's never a good thing. I'd point this out as the one reason the One didn't sell more.
But, that's 2013, right? It may not feel like it was all that long ago, but here we are a few months into 2014, we've got a new One device to ogle at, and HTC took a very different approach to releasing their new flagship device. Unlike any other manufacturer out there, they managed to make the One M8 available for purchase the same day as the announcement. And while Verizon had the device in stores first, customers were still able to buy the device for their (major) carrier of choice if they chose to do so.
Earlier today, HTC posted their financial report for their first quarter of 2014. It was a loss, and you can see the details in my fellow Editor, Alex's, write-up, but that loss isn't what I'm focusing on. Much like HTC itself, I'm looking at the One M8's release, and the quarters ahead for the company. They expect that the One M8 will help them turn a profit beginning as early as the second quarter of this year, which tells me that they've seen quite a spread of sales since the device went on sale, and they're tracking it to continue to sell well.
As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. Simply put, HTC deserves to see a turn around like this, and not just because they sell stock in another company. They deserve to see some real profit from a device they created. But, not just because it's HTC we're talking about. Because the One M7 and the One M8 are devices worth owning, and they're good enough to propel HTC back into the contender's spot for the lead of the Android Army.
HTC deserves to have things turn around for the company because they've created devices that, while not perfect, are worth the attention from consumers. Let's just hope that the sales continue for the company, and they're able to bring even more interesting devices to market.