HTC: Weak Sales And The Buggy "One“ Series Reflect Big Problems

HTC: Weak Sales And The Buggy "One“ Series Reflect Big Problems


HTC has been struggling in the smartphone market for a very long time, and if the weak quarterly earnings and numerous bugs found in the HTC One S and One X are any reflection of how the company is doing as a whole, things are certainly not looking well for the company who brought us some truly great pieces of hardware. The HTC One series NEEDS to be a hit, as the company is simply struggling to stay afloat. But it seems that the pressure that HTC is facing might have forced the series release too quickly, as multiple problems have been found with the "S“ and "X“ that make us wonder how they could have cleared testing. As we have touched on these issues on multiple articles, lets combine all the information we have here in this article to provide some clarity on just how much trouble this once highly respected Android manufacturer really is in.

Weak Quarterly Earnings...Again

Back in February I discussed how HTC was showing signs of losing their once very dominant foothold on the Android market, and weak revenues were a big piece of that. Unfortunately, the numbers aren't looking better this time around, but substantially even worse than last time as HTC is reporting a very weak first quarter. HTC saw its quarterly sales drop to 2.3 billion dollars, which sounds solid, but is actually a whopping 35% decrease from numbers just one year ago. In a market being currently dominated by Samsung and Apple, HTC's net profit sank to 151 million dollars, which is a 70% dip from numbers one year earlier. HTC and analysts are remaining positive, saying that the "One“ series of phones launched at Mobile World Congress would turn things around for the company. But here is where things also start to look even more wobbly.

The HTC One Series: Beautiful Phones, But Full Of Issues

I have an HTC One S and an HTC One X sitting here on my desk, and I can tell you that these are 2 beautiful phones. Sadly, they are both already having lots of issues after being released. Not only have consumers reported the issues, but HTC and Nvidia have also confirmed many these issues over the phone with us. Here are a list of issues we have confirmed so far from the One series:

  • Ceramic casing peeling off the phone (HTC One S)
  • Call quality audio issues (HTC One S and One X)
  • Sound issue when playing games (HTC One X)
  • Performance issue when playing some Tegra and non Tegra games (HTC One X)
  • Camera bug that can only be temporarily solved by reboot (HTC One X)

The issue with the HTC One S ceramic casing peeling off is so bad, that in Germany HTC announced yesterday that they would replace all of phones with casing peelilng off for free of charge. While it's naturally a good thing that they are addressing the issue, can HTC realistically afford the cost of switching out these devices?

Here are a few pictures of the casing issue:

And here is the camera bug:

On a positive note, it would seem highly likely that all of these bugs with the exception of the casing issue could be addressed with software updates and fixes. The hardware issue with the One S however, could be a very pricey dilemma for HTC, which is something that they simply cannot afford.

Samsung Continues To Dominate Android Sales

Samsung has quickly become THE Android manufacturer known for pushing huge sales numbers, and those sales have had a direct hit on HTC's profits. With well over 20 million Galaxy S2 devices sold as of Febuary 24th, the series is outselling all other Android devices by a long run, and with the Samsung Galaxy S3 expected to be released in the coming weeks, it could spell even more trouble for HTC.

Additionally, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is rumored to pack Samsungs newest quad core chipset, which in many benchmark tests significantly outpeformed the Tegra 3 quad core chip found in the HTC One X. HTC did a great job in quickly pushing out the first tier 1 quad core phone, but with the current issues the phone is having, it could very likely push early adopters of quad core phones right into Samsung's hands.

I'm not a financial analyst, but it very much seems that time is running out for HTC. With sales and profits down lower than they have ever been, a new series release that is already revealing multiple problems, and releases of the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 right around the corner, the One series might be the last chance for the troubled manufacturer.

Picture credits: (second casing photo) Cnet UK

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  • htcm7review Feb 17, 2013 Link to comment

    2013 will be a year full of surprises and one of the most anticipated events in 2013 is the unveiling of HTC most prominent smartphone, the M7 or HTC one.

  • Sanaullah Desai Apr 20, 2012 Link to comment

    This is about the one s.I'm sure htc won't be replacing the faulty one s units for free if they are making a loss.In my opinion htc will be using the screen,camera,microphone,speaker,battery and stuff like that in new one s units but ofcource with some cleaning and improvement.Htc will not have much loss as you mentioned earlier.

  • Eric McBride Apr 20, 2012 Link to comment

    I think they will. In all honesty, they dont have a choice but to do so! They are currently performing so badly that they cant afford to piss off customers. Lets just the problems dont become that widespread.

  • CJ Brown Apr 20, 2012 Link to comment

    I hope HTC does the right thing for consumers, I am loyal to HTC ... but if they want to keep me? They need to step up like Samsung has (& Verizon needs to get off their a$$ & offer new(er) 4g HTC Android Smart Phones) ...

  • Eric McBride Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Exactly :-D

  • Michael Doone Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Great minds.. :P

  • Eric McBride Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Again, I agree :-D Build quality from HTC devices has ALWAYS been great, as my Nexus One and HTC Sensation were both great devices. Hopefully this issue gets resolved before they roll out to more countries with this issue.

  • Michael Doone Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    I totally agree, the One S case peeling should not happen and they really can't afford for this to happen now the company is seeing a downturn. I hope they can fix the issues before the launch in the states so it doesn't affect sales. Quality control on that failed badly, but at the same time I can't be too angry at a company for trying something no other company has with the case design. That being said, if its a design flaw rather than the process becoming contaminated it should never have passed testing. HTC in my eyes do for android what apple do on their products, the build quality is fantastic (and designs) and although its not ideal to just replace faulty products, credit has to be given for doing it without question. Ive had a fault before with my DHD and the replacement service from HTC is fantastic, its little help i know, but least they haven't turned their back on it.

  • Eric McBride Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Exactly. Its to be expected. The software issues are more than understandable, but the actual hardware issue with the One S (casing peeling off) is a much bigger failure in my eyes. Things like that simply cannot happen, as the only option of fixing it for HTC is by giving out more free phones to consumers with that issue. That unfortunately is something that they cannot afford to do right now.

  • Michael Doone Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Software ....... HTC One (Sense 4)> Samsung S3 > iPhone 5
    Hardware .... Samsung S3 > HTC One > iPhone 5

    One series the best in my eyes overall. Bug free would definitely be nice haha. I guess thats what happens when you get the 2nd ICS device and the first quad core phone, few things need ironed out

  • Eric McBride Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    I hear ya..would be awesome to see that phone running bug free.

  • Michael Doone Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    It has starting flickering again sadly. I Tried to get a screen shot, but it does not show up which could be a sign of it being a hardware and not software problem. After all the photos taken show up perfect too. Lets hope its fixed soon, because I adore this phone

  • Eric McBride Apr 17, 2012 Link to comment

    We actually didnt have Spotify on the device. Maybe another app is causing the issue?

  • Michael Doone Apr 16, 2012 Link to comment

    This may be a coincidence but ive been having problems with the spotify app where is constantly restarts. When I was using the camera and the loading bar in the internet app it did the noisy pixels. You say the only solution is to restart the phone, but after uninstalling the spotify app the camera and internet have returned to normal. I wonder if this is just coincidence or is spotify the problem. Do you know if the phone pictured has spotify installed?

  • Eric McBride Apr 14, 2012 Link to comment

    @Elf - Samsung fanboy? Really? :-D I will just pretend I didnt read that, as you obviously dont read any of the other articles I write if you think I dont like HTC as a company.

    As for the picture taken from us directly and the other from CNET (one of THE most reliable sources of tech news on the net) not being the HTC One S, I also have little to say, as HTC has already publicly confirmed the issue themselves. We have also done a hands on video with the X and the S. I guess we faked those videos as well :-D

  • elf santa Apr 14, 2012 Link to comment

    This is a samsung fanboy post!! and thats not even a HTC One S in the photos,
    none of these issues have been mentioned in thousands of reviews so far on the HTC One series, it looks like samsung fanboys are very annoyed by this really cool handset from htc!

  • Jack Strauss Apr 13, 2012 Link to comment

    Hopefully, HTC will get their act together soon. The HTC One X is a terrific phone on paper. I'm looking forward to checking it out as soon as it gets here. One thing I can say for sure - I'm never buying a Samsung phone again. No matter how badly HTC screws up, there is no way it's ever going to be as bad as Samsung. Samsung does not care about existing customers. You are at best going to see one upgrade - and that will be many months after the release. At least HTC releases source code so I can get custom ROMs. There are drivers of the Vibrant that Samsung has still not released. Never again.

    Actually the company that has impressed me most has been Asus with their Transformers. Even though they messed up the updates of both the Prime and the original Transformers, they were on XDA with an official thread trying to get information and fixing the problem. I'm going to take a look at the PadPhone and the HTC One X and decide. I wouldn't touch the Samsung galaxy SIII with the end of a barge pole.

  • Christopher Silva Apr 13, 2012 Link to comment

    Sad really, HTC has been such an innovator ..

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