What to expect from HTC in 2013

HTC had quite a rough year in 2013 – the company suffered from delayed updates, problems at US Customs, disputes with Apple, and declining sales and profits. Here at Pocketables and G&E, we’ve had lots of discussions about why we think HTC is suffering and what it can do to improve its market position: it should be more friendly towards developers, it should ditch Sense, it should make Sense better, it should release fewer phones, it should send out software updates more quickly, it should figure out a way to destroy Apple, etc.

I’m sure a lot of these things have crossed the minds of execs at HTC, too. But what can we realistically expect in 2013? Well, we’ve already gotten a few hints here and there, so here’s what we can piece together so far.

Sense will continue to get leaner and more toned down.

HTC already did a good job of making Sense a little less invasive on the HTC EVO 4G LTE and the HTC One series, and this will continue in 2013.  Anonymous sources within HTC are already saying that Sense will be “simple and clean” in 2013, although it’s anyone’s guess as to how that will actually look. In any case, we are hearing that the lockscreen and HTC’s bundled apps will all get a huge facelift, and that Sense will be easier to use. For example, the on-screen volume controls will apparently allow users to jump directly to the volume settings.

HTC is going to continue focusing on sleek, modern hardware.

We should expect more phones to look like the Droid DNA, including larger screens (at least 4.7-inches). The same sources that told us about Sense are also saying that some future phones will have a unibody aluminum shell with a “very nice looking beveled edge” around the screen. We can expect a sleek-looking all black design (although I’m sure various HTC phones will have more color options than simply black). Unfortunately, we are hearing that HTC has not opted for on-screen navigation buttons, so physical hardware buttons are most likely going to remain in 2013.

I expect internal storage to go up to 32GB on most phones, 1080p resolution will become the norm, and there will be no less than four glorious cores.

HTC is going to focus on more and better advertising.

This is coming straight from HTC’s CEO, so unlike the above two items, this isn’t a rumor. Peter Chou recently told the Wall Street Journal that poor marketing decisions were the primary factor in 2012 that caused HTC’s profits to tumble. Chou said that HTC simply didn’t spend enough on ads, allowing other manufacturers (i.e. Samsung) to take the lead. Expect to see more ads and commercials that attempt to make HTC stand out from the crowd and, in Chou’s words, create public demand for the company’s “unique products.”

There won’t be as many patent disputes and lawsuits.

I think we can all breathe a big sigh of relief on that one, right? HTC and Apple have pretty much worked most of their disagreements out, opting for licensing deals in lieu of more courtroom battles. And since the FTC recently dropped its probe into Google, and Google is agreeing to license more of its patents out, it seems like most of the big players are finally figuring out that consumers are tired of this, and that it’s time to start focusing on innovation once more.

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So now that you know a little of what I think 2013 will look like for HTC, I’d like to know what you want to see. Where should HTC take the EVO line, or should HTC phase it into the One series? Does HTC stand a fighting chance? Are you still an HTC fan, in spite of all the recent upsets?

[HTCSource via Android Community | Android Police]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

18 thoughts on “What to expect from HTC in 2013

  • January 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm
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    I personally think that HTC phones are the only good looking phones on the market. Design and software wise, take Samsung’s touchwiz for example that UI is uglier than hell(I don’t know if you tolerate the word hell on this site so my apologies in advance). the only other UI that actually looks good along with sense is pure android on the Google phones and tablets, and I have used phones from LG to Samsung. That is my personal opinion you may all have a different view of things.

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    • January 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm
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      I wouldn’t call them the only good looking phones on the market, but they’re certainly some of the nicest. The Windows Phone 8X, in particular, looks and feels great.

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      • January 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm
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        Well I should have specified that I’m talking about android only. I hate iPhones (i had one for about 2 months and I wanted to shoot the phone so bad) and Windows actually shows promise but still doesn’t catch my eye enough to buy one.

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  • January 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm
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    After their Evo incident not mentioning it in announcements and dealing with the Evo 3d not being updated to ICS until after a prepaid version of it then still trusting with the Evo 4G late and to them it didn’t exist they will be invisible on my upgrade dates samsung has proven themselves as a leader in pushing out timely updates and that’s the most important thing on my checklist sure it’s not Google speed for the nexus line bit they’re like baby ducks following mama not far behind good riddance HTC and your obvious lack of support to die hard Evo fans who are the ones who helped your fame into the land of android

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    • January 5, 2013 at 1:33 am
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      I think LaTE would be a good way to put it.

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  • January 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm
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    I like HTC, especially their focus on imaging (camera) performance. Even a cheap HTC One V seems to do a better job than a Galaxy S2 when it comes to photography.

    However, in the bigger picture it seems an almost impossible battle to beat Samsung. Especially when Samsung has a very-capable device in almost every form factor (Galaxy S2, S III, Note II, Tabs etc.)

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  • January 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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    Maybe when HTC pulls its head out and adds an sd card and removable battery I’ll consider it. Otherwise, I’ll stay with my S3.

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  • January 5, 2013 at 3:29 am
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    After HTC has come to an agreement with Apple, they took a page right out of their book. They know this phone (Evo 4g lte)should have had 2 gigs of ram. But they just put 1 gig in, so you would have to buy the next instalment. Non removable battery and no SD card slot. Who does that sound like? if the next Evo has a non removable battery and no SD card slot. That is a deal breaker. On my way to Samsung.

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    • January 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm
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      @ Terrance Hubbard — Come on in! The water’s great!

      Reply
  • January 5, 2013 at 10:18 am
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    Yeah I agree, I like the idea of expandable memory the battery thing, I’ve never had to pull mine but I can see the advantage of it. So if they cannot make a comeback I’m going to become a Samsung consumer. But no matter how bad it is never an apple consumer!

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  • January 5, 2013 at 10:21 am
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    Isn’t what they’ve been saying they’re going to be doing for a year or two now? haha :D

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  • January 5, 2013 at 10:26 am
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    I almost cried when I found out that the droid DNA didn’t have the option for micro SD card. I was so looking forward for a nice HTC phone to arrive to Verizon so I could drop sprint. I was gonna be hard to say goodbye to my evo LTE already, so I wanted something similar or better from HTC on VZ. I’ve had HTC phones for a long time, going back to the times of windows mobile 6.1.
    I particularly like sense, it might be a problem if you’re a developer and want to play with your phone, but most average users I think have a lot to gain from sense, specially the latest version 4+. As much as I wanted and I still want the droid DNA the fact that I can use my 32GB micro SD cards is a deal breaker. Even today being the last day that I could return the Note 2, I don’t think I will do it. I don’t really care about the non-removable battery, there are ways to work around that, but no micro SD card; totally a deal breaker. I like the Note 2, but there’s something about samsung phones that I don’t really like, I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s touchwiz. I believe HTC if they want to survive they have to stand up to the carriers and design 1 or 2 phones with the best specs and have them across all carriers. If either the one x or the EVO LTE where available on all carriers they would be in a much better position now. Release an upgraded version of the EVO LTE on VZ and I will sell my Note 2 and I will buy another HTC phone in a second.

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  • January 5, 2013 at 10:40 am
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    The sprint versión of the next Htc flagship device needs to have expandable storage.

    Sprints horrible network wouldn’t make sense any other way since trying to pull data from the web is painfully slow.

    I also wanted to jump ship to Verizon but the Dna’s lack of expandable storage made that a del breaker. As it sitd right now I only have about 2 gigs internal and 2GB left on my card.

    No sd card means no more Htc phones for. Me

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  • January 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm
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    YAY for hardware buttons! Personally i dont like wasting that screen space for ugly white and black buttons that move when I rotate the screne. And I believe you can turn them off in custom roms if you dont like them anyways. You cant turn hardware buttons that dont exist on. Like SD slots, more options are a good thing.

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  • January 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm
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    I really cannot understand how HTC f*cked themselves so bad.
    I (PROUDLY) used the OG Evo 4G…and then they totally muffed the follow ups. As far as I am concerned, the S3 is the phone that HTC should have made.

    Sad. I always, ALWAYS, look at the new HTC phones, and am always, ALWAYS disappointed.

    My 2 cents.

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  • January 6, 2013 at 1:03 am
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    My guess for 2013:

    More over-intrusive HBOOTs that break things as badly as HBOOT 2.09.0000

    Better camera and shutter sound options of either a semi crashing into a china shop, or the current faux shutter sound at 219 decibels. Their new picture adverts with the multi-picture camera will be of a sleeping toddler transitioning into waking up with its ears bleeding.

    HTC PR will once again focus on wooing the people who don’t write anything about HTC products.

    Key Lime Pie will be introduced by Google, available via RUU on the HTC EVO V 4G LTE ID l4 VMOOOO, which will be a rebranded original HTC EVO with an LTE radio added to it and slapped on Virgin Mobile but will take 5 months of extensive testing before it makes it to the 4G LTE and then crashes any time someone makes a call because they didn’t test that.

    More confusing rebranding of products like the HTC EVO V 4G <- this is the Virgin Mobile EVO 3D and this is not a joke. Shifting focus from attempting to make rock solid products to attempting to make people believe they make rock solid systems. Slapping the name of the flagship product on a series of increasingly inferior products.

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  • January 6, 2013 at 4:23 am
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    Honestly my hero was my favorite htc phone and my evo 3d right behind it. I want a note 2 only for the things it can do but touch wiz makes me cringe, my bf has an s2 and it just leaves me stupefied at the ui design choices but that’s a different story of how htc has spoiled me with the design of sense. But I think I’ll probably be looking at a windows phone 8 next go around as that design is beautiful and after playing with the 8x by htc I only want it more cause it just feels right for me.

    Reply

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