Thinking about it, going for a product that distinguishes itself with novel features and plays on very different strengths from the popular or ‘generic’ ones does make sense.
Sometimes, however, the decisions that seem sensible may backfire dramatically – thus is the case for the HTC One M9. The Taiwanese tech firm has to now make an acute shift in course lest it ends up like BlackBerry pre-PRIV.
For two generations of devices HTC earned a decent reputation with the HTC One M7 and M8, but the HTC 10 is forced to fall in line with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone devices.
That’s because HTC One M9 – improved as it is from its predecessor – simply failed to revive dwindling sales that followed soon after a short-lived One M8 success in the market.
The One M9 offers everything Apple and Samsung does not. Its highly customizable HTC Sense 7.0 UI has cool features not found in other devices such as highly customizable Themes (think Rainmeter for smartphones), native text reflow, and flip to mute among other things.
Impressive software is backed by commitment by HTC to keep users happy, evidenced by how the company has worked to update its devices to Marshmallow until today. It also has a highly enviable set of dual front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers and provides tactile pleasure with its unique brushed aluminum build.
But ‘special’ has not gotten it sufficient attention as it leaves plenty to be desired in regard to the basic stuff, aspects such as processing speed (middling, overheating), camera quality (muddy), and battery life (just poor). HTC has learned that now.
Though it would be nice to have those distinctive features, but they have to be cleared out to make more room for improvements to its fundamental attributes.
Still, this move is not a panacea for the turbulence facing HTC. Drastically throwing out its special speakers and cool design for a ’compelling camera’ besides other more popular features is not guaranteed to rejuvenate the brand if the HTC 10 ultimately falls short against rivals.