Lately, HTC has been talking about focusing its efforts on a limited number of higher-end smartphones, distancing itself from the kind of lower-tier models that have been part of its lineup in the past. In a recent interview, CEO Peter Chou reiterated this sentiment, discussing the company’s desire to use “better materials to make better products that offer premium experience”. Is that what it’s doing, though?
There’s nothing wrong with concentrating your efforts on a small number of top-tier devices, just like Apple does. For that to be successful, though, those few models really need to deliver. Instead, we’ve seen the arrival of the One X plagued by a series of bugs, first with display problems, then software-based WiFi issues, and now there’s news of some serious issues with the WiFi hardware. The One S isn’t immune, either, and has seen its own software problems.
Even if we ignore those problems with HTC’s recent lineup, does its claim about using better materials to make better products really ring true? We just learned about a new One S variant using last-generation Snapdragon S3 chips. Unlike the One X versus the XL, where the desire to go with another SoC was motivated by radio concerns, the alternate One S is reportedly a consequence of S4 chip shortages. In this case, it sounds very much like HTC is compromising on quality by using lesser components; after all, if a 1.7GHz S3 was good enough, why didn’t HTC just use it in the One S from the outset?
HTC, if you want to be known as a company dedicated to high-end smartphones, that sounds fantastic, but you’re really going to need to step your game up a little more, especially when it comes to quality control.