They Sold The First Android Smartphone, Now HTC Is A “Basketcase”.
Their smartphones have already been dropped by retailers in Australia due to poor sales and a lack of marketing, now HTC is pulling out of the giant Chinese market, with analysts claiming that the smartphone pioneers “Has all but given up”.
Once a market leader with over 20% market share in Australia the firm was the first to sell an Android handset in 2008.
Recently the Company has seen their worldwide sales fall from 10.7% in 2011 to 0.05% today, according to market research firm IDC.
“Their demise has opened the door up for Huawei and Oppo, who are now splashing the cash with retailers to get shelf space vacated by HTC. They have become a smartphone basket case” claims a former competitor whose products are still ranged in Australia.
A former senior manager at HTC Australia told ChannelNews that the Taiwanese Company “once had a great smartphone range but screwed up to a lack of knowledge”.
“Poor marketing and a lack of understanding of Western markets were a major contributor to their downfall. They like a lot of other Asian Companies as well as Japanese manufacturers, believe that what they see as a good product will market itself, this is not the case especially with a brand like HTC”.
The Taiwanese Company has announced that they are pulling its smartphones from two of China’s largest online marketplaces, raising concerns about the brand’s future.
The Taiwanese company has said it still intends to release at least one new model later this year.
HTC posted a message to Weibo – a Twitter-like service popular in China at the weekend declaring that it was closing its online shops on Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com’s Jingdong.
In Australia retailers such as Telstra who were a major reseller of HTC devices as well as JB Hi Fi have dropped the brand. In the UK, giant smartphone retailer Carphone Warehouse, O2 and EE no longer offer its handsets, leaving HTC reliant on its own website and Amazon to drive sales.
One expert said it was now questionable how long the business would continue to be an active smartphone-maker.
“All the signs are that it’s not viable for them to do business in China, and China is one of the markets which has the potential to provide the volume that companies like HTC need to survive in the smartphone business,” commented Ben Wood from the CCS Insight consultancy.
“If you look at the West, companies like Oppo, Xiaomi, and Huawei are all prepared to make significant marketing investments to support their product ranges.
“And that’s something that HTC just can’t afford to do.”
HTC posted a $372m net loss over the 12 months leading up to April.
Last year HTC sold its design team to Google, these engineers now work on the search giant’s Pixel range.
The new smartphone is set to be the Exodus 1 – a so-called “blockchain phone” that provides a hardware wallet and tools to manage owners’ crypto-currencies.
Retailers in Australia are not expected to range the new device.
Analyst Phil Chen said, “It appears that HTC has accepted that it can’t really compete in the mainstream mobile market anymore,” he said.
“And quite frankly, it’s hard to believe that that the blockchain phone is anything more than a curiosity.
“While Google has provided them with a cash injection… that money won’t last forever.”