HTC could soon find itself in a position similar to BlackBerry, after sales of its most recent flagship, the One M9, seriously failed to live up to expectations.
HTC’s future might be looking a little shaky as the Taiwanese manufacturer has so far shifted just 4.75 million One M9 handsets, according to the China Business Journal. That’s almost half as many units as the One M8 shifted over the same time period last year.
Bear in mind that the One M8 only just managed to make HTC profitable in that time, after a troubling period of financial woe. Then you’ll realise that these latest figures are a little worrying.
HTC, which once boasted a market value of around $33 billion dollars, is now reportedly worth a mere $2 billion. That drop is down to a rapidly declining market share, which has plummeted to just 1.4 per cent according to industry analysts – a similar decline to that seen in Blackberry.
HTC is now languishing well behind rivals such as Huawei and Xiaomi, who are gaining traction with their high-end, low-cost devices in both their home market and the rest of the world.
Chinese industry observers have noted that HTC’s pricing could well be the main contributing factor to its ongoing atrophy in the market. After all, the One M9 was a minor upgrade over the One M8 and lacked some of the killer features found on rivals such as the LG G4 and Galaxy S6, such as a quad HD screen and dependable camera. But it still packed a premium price tag comparable to the best Android handsets.
Analysts have found that users who have that kind of disposable cash are more likely to spend their money on an iPhone instead, given its higher prestige and popularity. And recent question marks over the HTC One M9’s performance owing to its Snapdragon 810 SoC won’t have helped matters.
We’re really hoping that HTC manages to pull itself out of the mire as the company has produced some truly fantastic and memorable phones over the years. But with up-and-coming Chinese manufacturers snatching first-time smartphone buyers and power users alike, and Apple and Samsung hoovering up all the big-spenders, there doesn’t appear to be much light at the end of HTC’s tunnel.