Oh, how fortunes can change over the course of a year! This time in 2012, HTC had just finished talking about what a great year the company had seen in 2011, and that its plan for the future would be trying to position HTC as a brand focused on high-end devices, shying away from less impressive low-to-midrange models. We liked that sound of that, mainly because we’re generally far more interested in higher-end hardware, but not only did HTC fail to really live up to that goal as the year unfolded, but it’s now looking forward to a big dip in sales. As the company reveals this most recent disappointment, it turns last year’s plan on its head, and has announced its intent to deliver some of its most afforadbly-priced handsets yet.
For the first quarter of this year, HTC is expecting to see revenue either not show any growth, which maybe isn’t really that bad considering the usual first quarter slump, but also warns that it could see revenue decline by up to 17% – a far more alarming projection. In light of this, the company wants to place a new emphasis on emerging markets like China, and release smartphones which will sell new and off-contract for as little as $160.
Sure, HTC isn’t abandoning the high-end of the market, with models like the M7 on the horizon, but it’s nonetheless worrying to learn of this kind of 180 for the company’s strategy. If 2013 ends up being much like 2012 for HTC, we might be hearing about even more sweeping changes for the company in the not-too-distant future.