Later this year, HTC will release its next flagship, the HTC 10. The rumors surrounding this phone make it seem very intriguing, but one thing we haven’t been able to pin down is whether or not HTC will release a Windows 10 Mobile variant of its flagship. There is precedent for such a move, but there are reasons to not go that route as well. Sounds like a debate to me! Let’s dive in, shall we?
Less than ideal
One the one hand, Windows 10 Mobile is not in very good shape these days. Microsoft seems to be focusing more on the software and services side of its business model and Windows 10 Mobile seems to be a tangential part of that at best. Windows 10 Mobile has lost some stability, and some user friendliness, and to us here at Pocketnow seems to be more of a beta test, than a final release. There are still major titles missing from the app store, though we have Uber now. Can I get a “hell yeah”?
Plus, Windows 10 Mobile still hasn’t demonstrated that it’s a viable platform unless it’s really cheap. It’s true that Windows 10 Mobile is doing reasonably well in some areas, but in those areas, it’s the low-end Windows 10 Mobile phones that are doing well. Obviously, the HTC 10 will not be a low-end device. So is there a strong need for a Windows 10 Mobile flagship? Has that flagship not already sailed? See what I did there?
But isn’t that exactly the point here? There is no impressive Windows 10 Mobile hardware out there. The last offering, the Lumia 950, was great if you happened to be a passionate Windows 10 Mobile fan. If you aren’t in that category, you’ll want to go ahead and move on to something else. So if HTC could embrace Windows 10 Mobile, as it has done in the past, that would be the phone to beat in that space.
And isn’t that exactly what HTC needs? HTC surely has to be suffering from “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” syndrome by now. For years, HTC has lived in Samsung’s shadow. Isn’t it better to lead in a third place platform than to play second fiddle in a leading platform? I don’t know, but if I had stockholders to report to, that would be a nice PowerPoint slide, I would think. This would be the ultimate in differentiation.
No such thing as bad press
Plus, let’s not forget that, all things considered, HTC is doing okay-but-not-great in the Android space. If it could lead the way in Windows 10 Mobile hardware, that might be differentiation worth writing about in marketing and in the press. If HTC can stand up as the shining example of what Windows 10 Mobile hardware should be, that alone could be worth column inches and feature stories, and that’s press that HTC could use.
This is also press that Microsoft could use. Microsoft has a lot riding on this too, don’t forget. Microsoft has been working with many vendors to increase the popularity of its platform, and HTC could be the best partner yet. HTC is not going to pull any punches when it comes to its next flagship – it can’t afford to, so this will be hardware bearing the Windows 10 Mobile name that can soar and make Windows 10 mobile really fly.
What would you do?
Personally, I would love to see HTC release some killer hardware to run Windows 10 Mobile, but I’m not so sure it should. HTC isn’t exactly in the best position these days, and probably can’t afford to take on a whole lot of risk. Microsoft may be willing to help HTC in that regard, and if that’s the case, it’s probably worth a go, but otherwise if HTC is going to ride this wave on its own. If I were CEO, I would probably pass, though it would hurt to do so.
How about you? Put on your CEO hat for a moment. What would you do? Would you build upon your long relationship with Microsoft and take a chance with Windows 10 Mobile? Or are you sticking with the most popular platform in the world and telling Microsoft thanks but no thanks? Sound off below with what you think and let’s see if we can figure this out.