My how the mighty have fallen. It seems hard to believe now, but HTC was once a top dog in mobile. Having led the Android revolution with the introduction of the HTC Dream (you may know it as the T-Mobile G1), HTC for a long while was reporting record revenues and profits. More recently, however, HTC's been struggling to remain relevant in a category (mobile) that's largely dominated by Apple and Samsung, and it's slumping sales bear that out. Equally troubling for HTC as it tries to right its ship is that its crew is turning against it and jumping overboard.
HTC continues to struggle to find a way to flip the kind of profits it did during the company's heyday, back when it was moving handsets like gangbusters and practically had a license to print money. But the times, they are a-changin' and the HTC of old is having trouble competing in this new landscape dominated by Apple and Samsung, the latter of which has picked up the Android torch that HTC helped ignite. Ginormous profit dips are the norm for HTC these days, which today posted a record 79 percent drop in quarterly profit.
HTC and Microsoft just put the Windows Phone 8 community on notice -- the HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S are the devices to beat. What's interesting here isn't that HTC has Microsoft's full blessing -- technically, all Windows Phone manufacturers do -- but that HTC is being allowed to name its next generation smartphones after the platform it's built around. There's no mistaking which OS is running on the show on HTC's devices, whereas less savvy users might not be able to tell you right off the bat what OS Nokia's Lumia 920 is built around.
We have both good news and bad news to share with HTC One X owners today. Starting with the former, HTC said it's issuing an over-the-air (OTA) update that will include an upgraded version of Android and an improved Sense experience. So what's the bad news? It's not a Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) update, just an improved version of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4), albeit one that brings with it some neat improvements.
Companies like HTC and every other smartphone maker competing against Apple and Samsung face a harsh reality, albeit an obvious one -- they're not Apple or Samsung. That should go without saying, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow the fact that everyone seems to want an iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC, which played a major role in popularizing Android as a legitimate contender in the mobile OS space, is now struggling to remain relevant in a market it helped create.
A delay at U.S. Customs over a patent dispute (what else?) with Apple caused the HTC One X to arrive in the States a little later than HTC would have liked, but it's here now, and available to purchase on AT&T's website for $200 with a 2-year voice agreement and qualifying monthly data plan. Brick-and-mortar goers will be able to snag the One X starting on June 10, 2012 (this coming Sunday).
Mobile gaming apparently lends itself to strange bedfellows, like HTC reportedly signing on to promote Sony's PlayStation Certified program. And in doing so, HTC finds itself as the only non-Sony entity to secure certification, which it will use to its advantage in the mobile handset market, or at least attempt to. It's not as though companies are beating down Sony's door for a PlayStation Certified stamp of approval.
Google this week announced a second generation Chromebook model from Samsung, the Series 5 550, which dispenses with the previous generation Chromebook's Atom N570 processor and replaces it with a dual-core Celeron B867 chip sporting Sandy Bridge DNA. That's well and good if you're into Chromebooks, except that companies like Asus and HTC aren't tripping over themselves trying to launch second generation Chromebook models of their own.
Just like Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall did in the late 1980s, HTC's One X and Evo 4G LTE smartphones are 'Coming to America', just not necessarily in search of a wife. The arrival of these two devices on U.S. shores was anything but a foregone conclusion, after facing a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ban and nearly month-long review process with U.S. Customs officials.
Good news if you own an Amaze 4G smartphone from HTC. For those of you who do, HTC just released an update to Android 4.0, the latest and greatest open source mobile operating system from Google more deliciously known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Owners of HTC's Thunderbolt and Desire HD smartphones aren't as lucky, having to wait perhaps until August, or longer, receive an ICS upgrade, according to HTC's newly published Android 4.0 roadmap.