“HTC Is Dying And Running Out Of Options”

Yours truly, over at Business Insider – HTC Is Dying And Running Out Of Options:

HTC, the one-time king of the Android phone makers, is on a downward course with few options left to correct itself.

Last November, Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson wrote that HTC was the biggest tech business disaster in 2012. Things have only gotten worse for the company since then.

HTC First Discontinued Already

BGR:

BGR has confirmed that HTC and Facebook’s little experiment is nearing its end. BGR has learned from a trusted source that sales of the HTC First have been shockingly bad. So bad, in fact, that AT&T has already decided to discontinue the phone.

Wow. Remember how proud the HTC CEO was at the Facebook Home launch? I have a strange feeling he’s not too pleased any more. Turns out people aren’t feeling the need for a Facebook phone after all.

HTC and Samsung flagships to start at $50 more than iPhone

Today Engadget noted that the HTC One is going to start at $250 at AT&T.

Last week we found out that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will start at the same price on the same network.

I figure that there are three potential reasons for HTC and Samsung to release their flagships at a higher price than Apple’s iPhone 5, which starts at a subsidized price of $199  on most carriers and $99 on T-Mobile:

  1. The carriers won’t give them the same subsidies as they give Apple. Apple has significant leverage with carriers when it comes to subsidies – remember Sprint’s $20 billion deal with Apple to get the iPhone 5? Yeah, that was basically a giant preorder guaranteeing Apple a $500 subsidy per phone.
  2. HTC and Samsung are hoping that by offering bigger screens, more (gimmicky) features, and the general performance enhancements that come with being newer, they can charge more than Apple does and thus make higher margins.
  3. Expecting a bigger and more expensive iPhone later this year, they’re betting that they can raise the price of their flagship devices and still undercut Apple.

Edit: Well, fuck me. Turns out HTC is launching the One for $199.