HTC plans to go big on Windows Phone 8. Says they’ve got better carrier support than Nokia
HTC isn’t doing well lately.
In fact, they are doing so bad, that I am starting to have serious doubts about HTC’s long term prospects. But now they think they found a salvation to the sales troubles. And it comes in the form of HTC’s old partner – Microsoft, and the new Windows Phone 8 OS.
The main problem for Taiwanese smartphone maker these days – is Android.
In 2010 and early 2011 HTC rose to prominence on the back of Google’s OS. But that was the easy part. Android was a new and rather immature OS, and HTC was a nimble upstart able to design and ship high quality Android smartphones before anyone else. Furthermore – those were the times of iPhone exclusivity around the world, and carriers that did not have Apple’s phone looked to Taiwanese vendor to provide competitive alternatives. Especially in the U.S. – where most of HTC’s growth came from.
Then, in the second half of 2011 Samsung got really serious about Android with Galaxy S2, and iPhone exclusivity ended. HTC’s sales have been in decline ever since.
Unable to compete with Samsung and Apple on Android, HTC now looks to Windows Phone 8 to change its fortunes. According to HTC president of sales and marketing Jason Mackenzie – their plan is “to go big on Windows 8”.
When asked about Nokia’s special relationship with Microsoft, Mackenzie says that HTC is not afraid, because they have better carrier relations. During the September 5th announcement, Nokia failed to mention even 1 carrier partner who will be pushing Lumia 920 or 820. HTC, on the other hand, has concrete carrier support in every region around the world, including several carriers in the United States. And firm commitments to sell their Windows Phones.
Sounds interesting. But I still have some serious doubts Windows Phone can be a long-term solution to HTC’s issues.
It may provide a short-term sales bounce if the new Microsoft mobile platform takes off. But that is a very big if. And, if Windows Phone phone starts gaining ground on Android, in addition to Nokia, Samsung will be very quick move strongly onto WP8. So in a year or less, HTC will be facing the same problems it now has with Android.
On the other hand, even a short-term boost from Windows Phone would be a very good thing for HTC, until they figure out what to do next.