Saturday, 8 September 2012

HTC, Motorola and the future!

   Before I start it's worth offering up a little disclaimer. I live in the UK, our choice of phones is decidedly different from you guys over the pond in the USA. For starters we didn't get any of the Motorola Droid series, after the Droid 2 (read: Milestone 2), we only got the Razr Maxx available in big chain stores in the last 2 weeks and we get pretty much every HTC phone going!

   So what's the point of this discussion? Well both companies are doing average-poor in their financial statements and there are clear reasons, in my mind, why each of them is struggling and bare in mind that these are just my opinions and for the record I have a Galaxy S3 and Sony Tablet S, so there's no vested interest!

   Firstly, lets start with Motorola because they're easier to tackle! Firstly, the company in the last few years has failed to compete with the Samsung's and Apple's of this world and to an extent they are struggling at the moment. At the moment if you head over to their UK page you will find 14 phones for sale; the competitive of which is the Motorola Razr/Razr Maxx and yes both of these phones are nice, but given the choice would you buy one of them over a Galaxy S3? Probably not, you'd rather stump up the extra £5 a month!

   Motorola almost totally missed the boat because when the Razr was announced in November 2011 Google was days away from showcasing the Galaxy Nexus, with it's 720p HD screen, which simply trumps the Razr's! The phone was almost outdated from the moment it launched.

   Hopefully the freshly announced Razr M and it's 'bezel-less display' will help, although the Intel processor might well put off a few people. The Razr HD and Razr HD Maxx are once again good but they're very much the 4S to the iPhone 4, if you get that little analogy.

Thankfully the Razr got ICS, but only after Jelly Bean was announced!
   My criticism doesn't stop there; Motorola also have an issue with updates; that issue is that they're terrible with them! If you're lucky you'll see one update on your phone. That simply isn't competitive any more; Samsung and HTC crank out updates for the vast majority of their phones quickly and they often get them through two versions of Android! Even Sony have learnt the wonders of software updates lately and they've been widely praised for their work, so hopefully Motorola will see the light!

   Quite simply that's where Motorola's problem is; they're not challenging high-end phones and that's where Samsung and Apple are making their money. Hopefully Google have got Moto's teams working behind the scenes to create something amazing for the event on September the 5th because they'll have to compete with the Galaxy S3, the new iPhone, new Lumia devices, the stunning Samsung Ativ S and HTC's competent, if not mind blowing, One X and S. That's the competition and devices will have to wow consumers to turn their heads.

   Motorola would also do well to actually offer their phones in Europe! We can help you guys shift some phones, but not if they're not on sale here! It might be a strategic move on Motorola's part to tackle the US and China, but it's slightly frustrating for us keyboard lovers!
The Sensation just looked dated.

   HTC is a different beast entirely; people have said that things started going pear-shaped last year when they released too many Sensation devices. HTC had the Sensation, the Sensation XE and the Sensation XL, so I'm not entirely convinced that was the reason. Instead, I'd say that the Sensation series (with the exception of the XE) looked clunky and unfashionable. Yes, they were made of metal and felt good but they didn't look as good as an iPhone 4S or a Galaxy S2 did they?

   That's the problem for HTC their aesthetic. The One Series was a good start, it looked relatively fresh and unique and HTC brought their A-game with the specs, even if they put a diddy little battery in the One X!

   I think HTC knows that's the trouble too, but the company has a toss up between a complete departure from their current design language and the risk that runs of alienating their current device owners when they come to upgrade. HTC has also started focusing on battery sizes; they've been asking their Elevate users whether battery life is that important to them and whether perceived battery life is actually the reality, after all a little battery doesn't necessarily mean it won't last all day!

   HTC aren't the company that concern me, they'll be fine they're trying to change and reassert themselves, but they need to get back to creating iconic devices; the Desire and the Legend were fantastic. Everyone instantly recognised them because they were so distinct and they caught people's eyes and that's what they need to get back to and maybe ditch sense too! It looks like a dodgy scarf in the Sensation above!!! Again in HTC's defence they've tried to refresh Sense in the One series and they've toned down the colour scheme and made it less intrusive!

   So HTC and Motorola both are still competitive manufacturers and both have a place in Android's future. I'm confident both of them can offer compelling and competitive devices, sometimes though I just wish Google could make all Android phones and this is why...


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