Note: This post is purely a bit of fun and a dream of a perfect world. No one could realistically expect a 19-year-old to single-handedly reinstate a company to its former glory. Though, if they’d like to pay me to try, I’m open to it.
First let’s look at what’s possibly happening to HTC at the moment. Their previous quarterly results are far from stunning, in fact, their profits have nose-dived over the past year and they’re hoping the HTC One can be their saviour device. Last quarter they reported a 98% drop in profit and a 38% drop in revenue. Those a huge numbers with good meaning behind them.
What would I do?
First off: tablets. Get rid of them. Can any plans you have for them — like the upcoming ‘T6’ phablet which is floating around. If there’s a design in the pipeline, be gone with it. HTC is not in a position to make a push into the mediocre Android tablet market. The 7-inch HTC Flyer should be a good enough reason to justify my plans.
If, and only if, there’s a viable design, let’s push out a Galaxy Note competitor. Samsung have shown that there’s a huge market for that device size. Let’s push out a 5.5-inch (or similar) device with amazing hardware that people actually want to use, and not just because it’s not an Apple or Samsung product.
The One. The one and only One. The HTC One. There’s no denying this is a great smartphone and sits comfortably at the top of the Android device market with Samsung’s Galaxy S4. So let’s not rest on our laurels with it. When there’s a new version of Android pushed out to the AOSP, let’s work as hard and as fast as we can to bring Sense up to that latest version and get that update to users ASAP.
What about Sense UI?
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who genuinely enjoy Sense, and that’s good for them. Instead of forcing everyone to use this memory-intensive, battery-eating, soul-destroying UI, let’s make it a choice.
First of all, let’s tone down Sense UI to a point where’s it’s still uniquely HTC, but also quicker to update and less dependant on HTC framework. I feel that’s a win for everyone.
As we’ve heard in the last few weeks, HTC are going to push out a version of the One running stock Android. Let’s capitalise on this even more. Let’s make, not only stock images, but a completely separate channel of updates available for stock ROMs on the One and future flagships. So if you want Sense UI, you can have it — the updates will be slower. But if you want to go the stock Android route, that’s fine too. We’ll make it as easy as possible for you to install an official stock ROM onto the device through HTCDev and then provide OTA updates promptly.
Best of both worlds is a win for everyone.
Looking at what makes HTC great, you can’t go past the hardware design. Couple this with my proposed changes to the way HTC deals with software, and I think we’re onto a winner for the most part. For future devices HTC needs to look at the market and current-generation phones to see what worked, what didn’t, and where some new could be introduced that’s worthwhile — a skill that HTC have seemingly forgotten about in the last 2 or more generations.
We should have 3 devices across the board that we focus our energy into: 4-inch, 4.7 to 5-inch, and ~5.5-inch. Apple have the stranglehold on the lower sizes, so let’s not waste time there. We make premium products so we need premium-sized devices and the market has dictated that they are 4-inches or larger.
As for the update cycle on the hardware, I think it’s fair if we refresh our lineup every 18 months or at least 12 months. This time frame gives us room to look into R&D so that we have something worth showing off and making a spectacle of at launch. That way we’re not pulling the UltraPixel move and having a product that could be far better than what it is at launch.
What would YOU do?
That’s just my imagination at work. What I’d love to hear is what YOU would do with HTC if you had the power. Tear my suggestions apart, change them slightly or dramatically. How would you make HTC a sustainable business making phones everyone wants?