HTC is hoping to bounce back by targeting individuals with its new flagship One handset, which every operator and retailer will stock when it goes on sale from 13 March.
While not naming its rivals specifically, the company is hoping the device’s differentiation from ubiquitous Apple and Samsung products will lead to it being a success. The device will need to work and sell quickly as HTC’s stock has fallen from when it was the driver of Android sales. Its profits nosedived 95% during 2012 as consumers opted for rivals’ devices, and it was overtaken by Sony as the UK’s second largest Android manufacturer last year.
The company said it wants to highlight user experience, rather than focus on specs. At the centre of this is the Blink Feed, a cross between Windows Phone’s Live Tiles and Flipboard. The home page constantly refreshes with a feed of social networking updates and news. The company has also rebuilt its camera [see box] and features a new version of its Sense UI.
The device will be added to the others featuring the One branding. When asked if it will be confusing for consumers alongside the likes of the One X, the One XL, the One X+ and the One SV, HTC UK chief Phil Roberson said: ‘BMW has the 3 Series and this is the same logic. It’s our lead product and that’s what we are trying to do with the naming convention. This is the latest iteration of HTC.’
Roberson said he expected the device to be priced around the same level as when the One X launched last year. He said he was encouraged by the operator and retailer support and added the device would be targeted at those wanting unique devices.
He said: ‘We are proud to be different as an organisation. We create exceptional experiences and these appeal to customers who hold products that give an individual experience as important. We are targeting an audience who wants to stand for their own beliefs and values.’
Picture perfect - How HTC wants to blow apart the ‘megapixel myth’
A four-megapixel camera sounds almost archaic in this day and age of monster megapixels but HTC said its new One phone gives its best ever picture performance. The manufacturer admitted taking a big risk in ‘tackling the megapixel myth’ but said the design of the phone means it will able to beat rivals’ snapping quality, such as the Sony Xperia Z and its 13-megapixel camera. Symon Whitehorn, director special projects, said: ‘The car industry doesn’t talk about horsepower anymore, it talks about the experience. While individual pixel size is important, it’s not the metric that defines picture quality.’ Among the new features it has prepped is Zoe, a picture app that HTC is targeting as the ‘Instagram of video’. Consumers are able to film short videos of several seconds long and have them edited together with pictures on the camera.
Author: Graeme Neill