HTC unveiled two new smartphones on Sept. 15. The devices, called the Desire HD and the Desire Z, will deliver impressive functionality to customers looking for vastly different experiences. The Desire HD boasts a 4.3-inch display and a full touch screen. The Desire Z includes a QWERTY physical keyboard for those who aren’t too keen on virtual keyboards.
HTC’s announcement effectively demonstrated that, along with Motorola, the company is determined to take on Apple in the mobile market. So far, it has been quite successful, thanks to its HTC Droid Incredible.
But for now, Apple is leading. And it’s the single company that most firms should be concerned about. However, HTC is proving with each passing month that it’s a viable contender too. And it’s a company that Apple should worry about. Here’s why:
1. The track record speaks for itself
HTC might not have the name recognition that Apple enjoys, but it has proved to be an extremely successful company. Not only was it the leader in the Android market when it was in its infancy, but its HTC Droid Incredible is widely regarded as one of the top smartphones available now. That should translate to even more success going forward. And that is not good for Apple.
2. High-end is where Apple plays
Apple has been successful catering to those who want a premium product. But HTC has decided that that market segment is also where it wants to compete. And so far, as the Droid Incredible has shown, it can be successful in that space. Look for that to be an issue for Apple. And expect HTC to continue to cater to that sector in the coming years.
3. Android OS
Although HTC provides Windows Mobile devices, the company is heavily invested in the Android space. In fact, its most successful products (and the devices it most recently announced) run Google’s mobile operating system. That’s not good news for Apple. As recent reports have shown, Android OS is outpacing iOS quite handily. As more consumers get their hands on Google’s operating system, they might be more likely to buy an HTC product over any other-including Apple’s iPhone.
4. Physical keys for those who want them
Unlike Apple, which has decided to ditch physical keys, HTC has realized that there is still a large market for users who want a physical keyboard. Admittedly, that market is shrinking as more and more people seek out virtual keyboards. But by providing a physical alternative, HTC can more easily attract a wider range of customers than Apple. Not only will that help its sales, but it could impact Apple’s, as well.
HTC Shows No Fear of Motorola, Apple
5. Carrier agnosticism
One of the biggest mistakes Apple continues to make with its iPhone is making it exclusively available to AT&T customers. HTC, on the other hand, has decided to be carrier agnostic. By doing so, HTC has maximized its market. And in the process, the company has enjoyed strong sales. Apple’s decision to stick with AT&T is a problem that so far HTC has capitalized on.
6. The big display is impressive
The HTC Evo 4G and now the HTC Desire HD boast a 4.3-inch display. At first glance, that might not mean much, since Apple boasts a 3.5-inch display for its iPhone. But anyone who has picked up a larger-screen product knows it’s impressive. And it adds considerable value to a device when surfing the Web, checking e-mail or viewing video. HTC’s decision to double down on big displays is a smart one. And it’s something that makes its strategy effective against Apple.
7. ‘Customer-first’ seems to work
In a statement announcing its new smartphones, HTC said that it has taken a “customer-first” approach to device design. Marketing-speak aside, it seems that that might be true. As noted, HTC offers both touch-screen smartphones and those that include a physical keyboard. It makes devices available on multiple carriers. It also offers phones running different software. HTC is delivering a fine experience to any customers seeking just about any option. That’s important.
8. The more phones, the better
HTC offers a slew of devices to customers. Currently, Apple offers the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS. And those devices are available only to AT&T customers. Such a small selection could be hurting Apple. But HTC’s decision to keep offering new smartphones has proved successful for the company. And it has shown that quantity matters in the smartphone market.
9. It’s equal to Motorola
Recently, all the talk in the Android space has revolved around Motorola. The company’s Droid X and Droid 2 are captivating customers. But HTC is on an equal level as Motorola. In fact, the company is delivering products that customers want just as much as the Droid X and Droid 2. Thanks to that, Apple has multiple, powerful Android competitors. And that’s not good for business.
10. It works closely with Google
Since Android OS launched, HTC has worked closely with Google. In fact, HTC developed Google’s own Nexus One smartphone. Going forward, that relationship will likely strengthen. And as it does, Apple will be faced with a major issue. Its top competitor in the mobile market will be working closely with (arguably) its top competitor on the device side. That alone could cause some concern for Apple as it attempts to fend off competitors in the smartphone market.