HTC is in trouble. There’s little disagreement from industry experts on this as the firm is under fire from Samsung (with Android) and Nokia (with Windows Phone), squeezing the manufacturer from both sides.
In fact, a recent IDC report exposed how far HTC has fallen dropping from 8.2% of the Windows Phone market in 2012 to just 4.6% in 2013. That’s after the critically acclaimed HTC 8X and 8S were made available. Today, Samsung is now the number two vendor on Windows Phone with nearly 12% and one million shipments. You read that right.
In a vaguely worded article from DigiTimes this morning, it cites “industry sources” as noting that HTC is “drifting away” from Windows Phone, instead focusing on Android where they recently dropped out of the top five vendor ranking.
IDC: Windows Phone Market share and device shipments Q3, 2013
Two things should be noted here: DigiTimes is right just about as often as they are wrong, so we should take their industry sources with a grain of salt. Second, it’s not clear if the implication means that HTC is giving up completely on Windows Phone or rather focusing resources on Android.
Regardless of the answer, the choice may not be HTC’s, at least with respect to Windows Phone. Nokia now dominates with over 80% of the Windows Phone market and even with strong releases with the 8X and 8S, HTC has ceded ground allowing Samsung (who looks to be barely trying) to take the number two spot.
HTC: Lost in a sea of Lumias
HTC most likely won’t abandon Windows Phone. Their relationship with Microsoft goes back too far and patent agreements run too deep for them to be able to shake off the Redmond company, even if they wanted to. However, with only three phones released in the last year for Windows Phone 8 (8X, 8S and 8XT), it’s clear that number of devices the firm will be releasing will probably continue to drop (as will their software offerings). That means we may only see one flagship phone from the manufacturer in 2014 and the company all but giving up on low-end phones, where Nokia is thriving.
The problem is, even with this strategy HTC is getting slammed hard by Samsung and its Galaxy series. It’s not at all obvious that the company can continue to compete in what is an increasingly volatile atmosphere. And did we mention that the iPhone 5S is coming next month?
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.