As it seemed that almost every week in 2011 there was an announcement for a new Android device, consumers were overwhelmed with the amount of smartphones they had to choose from. While Motorola was the first to grasp this, it appears that other companies are starting to follow suit. HTC has announced that they will be pushing out less phones this year, and pushing out “hero” quality phones. The HTC UK chief Phil Roberson told Mobile Magazine that the manufacturer is going back a strategy that involves releasing a limited amount of high-spec devices this year but will have a focus on second quarter releases. As he put it:
”We have to get back to focusing on what made us great – amazing hardware and a great customer experience. 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.”
The strategy also mentioned tablets as HTC will be putting tablets on the back burner. Although, they did stress that they wouldn’t be exiting the tablet game completely but that they are wanting to focus on smartphones right now. It also appears that this rings true as it was leaked that the HTC Flyer would receive ICS in the first quarter of this year.
The company decided to change their strategy following disappointing global results from earlier this month. Their first quarter net profit fell 26% to $365 million. This is its first quarterly decline in earnings for two years and is a result of stiff competition from Apple and Samsung‘s Galaxy line. However, Roberson was optimistic. He stated:
“We had a fantastic year, with 65% growth year on year in the UK. But in Q4 we delivered a lot more products than in the past. Now we want to create more of a ‘hero’ approach. We make great phones, but it is hard to do that when the portfolio is spread too much.”
With this announcement, and given HTC’s somewhat quiet presence at CES, all eyes are on the MWC to see what HTC will be releasing second quarter 2012. Chances are we will see more information regarding the Edge, the Primo, or even HTC’s Ville. I’m excited that companies are starting to realize that quality over quantity is golden. What about you?