HTC banks on wearables and smarter marketing for salvation

February 5, 2014
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HTC is a company that's in trouble, both at home in Taiwan and in the US. Despite that, the company seems quite positive that it will be able to recover this year and it is laying it all on smartwatches, the next HTC One, and a renewed marketing effort.

Although HTC has never truly disappeared from the market or from consumer's consciousness, it has been losing ground, and losing fast. While it remained at fifth spot in comScore's recent market share figures, it has dropped out of the top five smartphone shipments based on IDC's report. Pair that with losing patent lawsuits to Nokia left and right as well as legal issues with former executives on its home front, the embattled company can really use a breather.

That reprieve might come soon, at least according to CFO Chang Chialin, who is projecting a rather positive outlook for 2014. That hope might come from the company's new devices, one of which is, unsurprisingly, a smartwatch. According to HTC Chairman Cher Wang, the company has already been investigating smartwatches and other wearables in years past, but were mostly foiled by battery and display technologies of that period. Now it seems that HTC has found solutions around those and is likely to out its first ever smartwatch soon. The company is also hoping that the upcoming successor to the HTC One will also enjoy a period of success and popularity that the current flagship experienced.

But HTC believes it has another ace up its sleeve to bring it out of the darkness. Chairman Wang said that the company will be renewing its marketing efforts this year. This statement may come as a bit of a surprise, considering how HTC's aggressive marketing push last year, which saw the hiring of Robert Downey Jr., didn't really seem to make waves in the market. HTC isn't disclosing details about its marketing budget, though it's hard to imagine it would come close to how much Samsung is infamously spending for the same purpose. But as Wang said, it's not the size of the budget that matters but how you spend every bit of it.

SOURCE: Bloomberg


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