HTC to reduce product range in 2012

Spend a few minutes trying to understand HTC’s product range, and the chances are you’ll eventually give up, or slowly descend into madness. It may be argued that a diversified product portfolio can be a good thing, but when it comes to HTC's line-up, the market evidently disagrees – HTC reported a 25% drop in its quarterly profits just three weeks ago, its first such decline in two years.

Take a look at HTC’s smartphone range for the US and UK markets:

The company actually itemises even more devices than these; there are, for example, four variants of the Wildfire S listed (for T-Mobile, US Cellular, Virgin Mobile and metroPCS) on the US website. Visitors browsing HTC’s current phone offering on its US site are greeted with a list of 51 phones in total (including a bunch of Windows Mobile 6.5 devices). Impressive, perhaps - but also bewildering to buyers who aren’t intimately familiar with the company’s range.

So it’s encouraging – and something of a relief – to learn via The Next Web that HTC is planning to consolidate its range of devices in 2012, with products that are fewer in quantity, but better in quality. HTC’s UK supremo Phil Roberson conceded that the company didn’t get things quite right in 2011, including a tacit acknowledgement that the company needs to move away from offering multiple versions of essentially the same product, but promised that these failings will be addressed this year:

We have to get back to focusing on what made us great… We ended 2011 with far more products than we started out with. We tried to do too much. So 2012 is about giving our customers something special. We need to make sure we do not go so far down the line that we segment our products by launching lots of different SKUs.”

Earlier this month, HTC’s chief executive, Peter Chou, stated that the company has been working for several months to place a greater emphasis on product innovation, underlining this point by stating that HTC wants “to make our innovation a big idea, even bigger”. He also welcomed increasingly strong competition from rivals such as Samsung, Motorola and LG: “Competition is good. Competition pushes us, helps us to change better and quicker. And we will be stronger.”

Establishing a leaner and more defined product range will be an essential step towards strengthening HTC against what Chou called the “nuclear weapons” of its smartphone rivals. He remains convinced that the company can win the war: “HTC is an excellent team and a strong army. A good soldier will not fear battles.”

Despite suffering a bloody nose last quarter, HTC clearly isn’t ready to surrender the fight – but we’ll have to wait and see if it brings the right weapons to the battlefield this year.

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So apart from spreading Android - in a bad way - HTC didnt actually produce anything useful for their own good

Hey Android Fanboys, how do you spell fragmentation? HTC.. and yet so many claim there is no android fragmentation with their hardware...


Seriously though this kinda crap has to stop its ruining the market and the OS.

zeroomegazx said,
Hey Android Fanboys, how do you spell fragmentation? HTC.

In the word fragmentation
There is no H
There are two Ts, not 1 like HTC
There is no C.

What?

Wil Jones said,
I hope they keep a full qwerty model, I love my Desire Z.

I adore mine as well........

I hope they come out with a new model of it (or just another QWERTY Android phone)

Well done, but I should think it is too late.
HTC got a bit big for their boots and suddenly flooded the market with very similar looking phones. This turned me off them.

They need to make, perhaps 9 different phones, 3 basic, 3 mid, 3 high.
Support them all for at least 12 months from the release date.

But like I say, they got greedy and are now wondering why their profits have dropped? Also remembering that most people are now on two year contracts and won't go out to purchase a sim-free phone.

I don't think it is too bad, at least on Android side. But better naming and market segmentation would not be a bad thing.

On other hand you have, Sensation, Incredible S, Desire S, if I remember correctly all have about the same hardware just different screen sizes.

Smart move HTC, the fload needs to be over. Everyone needs to focus on just a few models and focus on making them count. Stop confusing the masses and stop listening blindly to the telecoms... make something good, name it the same cross phone companies and I wish you the best.

I won't buy any of these htc, samsung etc junk of the month. Prefer to save up and support a manufacturer that takes time to think for overall customer satisfaction

kaffra said,
I won't buy any of these htc, samsung etc junk of the month. Prefer to save up and support a manufacturer that takes time to think for overall customer satisfaction

Nokia!

I think only good can come of this choice.... The array of handsets they had was starting to get a bit overwhelming

Like the HD7 and the HD7S instead of just upgrading it from the start they left it out and thought later on "Well now people want it"

Finally. As much as I dislike Apple, all these manufactures can take a page out of their book. Make one (or a few) flagship models per year. Continue selling the previous flagship as the cheap model once a new flagship model is released. This allows for a price range and limits the amount of money is wasted developing and updating model after model. Also, updates will come to more phones because there is so many less phones to update!

While I'm all for this, there's three immediate problems that come to mind:

1.) Carriers would never stand for this
2.) Google and Microsoft would never stand for this
2.) No other phone manufacturer could touch Apple's quality control which could possibly leave us with a set of really good phones or worst case, duds.

Davo said,
While I'm all for this, there's three immediate problems that come to mind:

1.) Carriers would never stand for this
2.) Google and Microsoft would never stand for this
2.) No other phone manufacturer could touch Apple's quality control which could possibly leave us with a set of really good phones or worst case, duds.

Why?

Davo said,
While I'm all for this, there's three immediate problems that come to mind:

1.) Carriers would never stand for this
2.) Google and Microsoft would never stand for this
2.) No other phone manufacturer could touch Apple's quality control which could possibly leave us with a set of really good phones or worst case, duds.

1) US carriers probably wouldn't go for this. Remember they demanded Samsung customize each Galaxy S and Galaxy S II to their whims with visual changes for no apparent reason.
2) Google has zero control over Android OEMs. Microsoft would probably encourage consistency in phone naming.
3) In theory, quality control should go up with the fewer models you have.

Avenger said,
Too many products eh? You mean like Titan 2 three months after the original was released?

T2 comes out in March dosnt it?