Apple (AAPL), Samsung, Others Have One Less Worry in 2013: HTC

January 4, 2013 10:35 AM EST
Why Samsung, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) have nothing else to fear from HTC: it's leadership.

Earlier today, the WSJ reported that HTC is going to "step up innovation" in FY13 to become a more competitive company. The company had success on the back of Google's Android platform up until 2012, when products from Samsung and Apple nabbed up most market share.

In response to HTC getting a reality check, co-founder and CEO Peter Chou said, "The worst for HTC has probably passed. 2013 will not be too bad." We hope this is a mistranslation.

Maybe its the Friday-effect kicking in, but what if Tim Cook, Steve Ballmer, Larry Page, or another noted tech exec said that the current calender year "wouldn't be that bad?" You'd have class action suits filed faster than you can finish the end of this sentence.

Really, what more innovation can HTC do? One of its best products is the HTC 8X, which runs Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Phone 8... not exactly an Android-killer right now. Its HTC DNA is decent, but why would someone choose that over a Samsung Galaxy S III or Note 2?

Chou also said, "Although we don't have as much money to counter [Samsung and Apple], the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers." Also not a very strong case given many of its devices get lost in the display stand at local wireless stores. "Oh, black and rounded corners? I have to have it!" no one has screamed, ever.

Latest data from comScore paints a telling picture: HTC saw a 0.4 point drop to 5.9 percent of U.S. market share in the three months ended November 2012 for smartphone OEMs. Less and less people are buying their hardware.

And all the CEO can say is this year "probably" won't be "too" bad? We've got some news for you Mr. Chou, other companies are innovating, too. And they hate losing market share.

HTC stock is traded on the Taiwan stock exchange under the number 2498. Shares last closed down 2.4 percent and are off about 80 percent from a peak in 2010.

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