By Chuong Nguyen | September 22, 2009 8:35 AM
HTC makes some pricey phones, and they’re proud of that. Especially compared to competing products, HTC seems cheeky that its recent acquisition of design firm One & Co. has paid off, and perhaps to some healthy profit margins too. In a recent Forbes article, HTC dishes about its design and ambitions. Read on to see if you agree with the firm.
One & Co. was actually the original design team behind the marvelous design of the original HTC Diamond–a smartphone handset that turned Windows Mobile from business stodgy to consumer lustworthy. The device’s success led HTC to acquire One & Co. in 2008, which paid off making HTC the fourth leading smartphone manufacturer right after Nokia, Research in Motion, and Apple.
Claude Zellweger, partner at One & Co, recognizes that hardware and software helps to command a premium price tag for a product and to build the HTC global brand. On the hardware side, Zellweger notes, “People who want a certain value can buy an LG or Samsung phone. We have to make sure our design is strong enough to justify price tag.” But design doesn’t stop with hwardware. HTC is going after softwre too, creating what it calls a people experience with UIs like TouchFLO 3D and Sense UI that keep people connected by integrating with social networks and internet data.
As far as position, HTC seems to be creating a distinction between consumer phones and business phones. The firm is making Android its consumer focus while glossing the Windows Mobile devices in black to appeal to its executive audiences who rely on Exchange ActiveSync. In creating this brand identity that streams from consumer to corporate, from hardware to software, HTC is giving people a reason to return back to the brand when they upgrade their phones and purchase a new device. A national advertising campaign is expected to roll out soon, so be on the lookout to see more HTC branding, more HTC logos, and more HTC innovation.
We can also expect some new and exciting products in the near future. Keith Nowak, HTC’s PR rep says that netbooks are not part of the company’s plans at this time. Though the firm won’t disclose what it has in store, we had caught a glimpse of some of the possibilities with Windows Mobile in the capacitive touchscreen HTC PRO.Three through leaks, spy shots, and plenty of rumors.
We can’t wait to see how One & Co. continues to influence and shape HTC’s designs in software and hardware moving forward.
For our own take on HTC, you can also see our exclusive HTC interview at pocketnow.com.