Now that the dust has begun to settle on the whole patent verdict between Apple and Samsung, we’re starting to see the potential ramifications. Perhaps the most obviously of which is Samsung’s need to “start over” when it comes to their design process and they’ll have to rethink their TouchWiz UI’s icons and interactions on future devices. This whole mess could set Samsung back at a very crucial time in the company’s history, they’ve just become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer and are riding the Galaxy wave to success, but according to the jury in San Jose, that wave belonged to Apple. Now that the folks in Seoul, South Korea have to think outside the box and create designs far from Apple, which could take time, other companies could seize the moment and move in on Samsung’s territory, one company ready to pounce should be HTC.
HTC was a runaway bull in 2011, having record quarters, one after the other, that was until Apple’s iPhone 4S hit, bringing their sales to a screeching halt. Since then, the Taiwanese company has been on the ropes, trying to figure out where they went wrong. They’ve since lost market share to not only Apple, but to fellow Android rival, Samsung, who has been flooding the market with their Galaxy devices, gobbling up customers using low-end devices to high-end smartphones and everything in between. Despite the fact that HTC buckled down and created the amazing new “One” line of smartphones, lead by the phenomenal One X, HTC has still continued to struggle, with market share and consumer adoption. But now, with Samsung in the hurt locker, it could be the perfect time for HTC to leap forward and reclaim their former glory. They’ve already created some gorgeous hardware recently, unlike anything Apple has made, something they need to continue doing. But their main hurdle is software, like Samsung, HTC uses their own customized “skin” or user interface,” HTC Sense, to help their products stand out. The problem is HTC’s Sense has a love or hate relationship with consumers, some enjoy it, while others think it’s overbearing and nothing more than an unnecessary use of system resources bogging down the whole experience. Regardless of consumers feelings towards Sense, HTC does make some nice software improvement, however, not all of them are needed.
If HTC wants to capitalize on Samsung’s misfortunes, here’s my suggestion. Put pride aside and launch a variation of the HTC One X on all four U.S. carriers, without HTC Sense, thus creating sort of an “unofficial” Nexus device. HTC made the Nexus One, still considered the best Nexus device (of it’s time). HTC can still include their own software, but as apps, not as part of the interface. The idea of a semi-clean version of Jelly Bean running on a One X is enough to make the hardcore fans go crazy, with word of mouth this could be exactly what HTC needs to get back in game.
I understand that HTC has spent millions creating the Sense User experience, but a good CEO knows when to cut his losses. If you’ve spent millions of dollars creating something and your company continues to sink, then it’s time to abandon ship and try something new. HTC needs to learn that it’s not just hardware alone that sells a device, it’s hardware and software and if the software people want is “stock” Android, then be the company who listens to the people and give it to them. This could be the perfect time for HTC to capitalize, the question is, will they?
I know I’m just a blogger, but I’ve run my own company and I have a successful father who’s run a few companies, sometimes you just need to follow your gut and make the hard decisions and in the end, it usually pays off.