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HTC Backs Out of U.S. Tablet Market, Says It Was a “Learning Experience”

According to HTC’s online communications manager Jeff Gordon, there will be one less face in the U.S. tablet game. The company has decided to pull their tablet lineup from the States and says “it was a great learning experience.” While Gordon didn’t say it specifically, I don’t think it’s a far stretch to interpret that as “we got our butts kicked” by companies like Apple, Amazon, and ASUS. Gordon also stated that they are watching the tablet market very closely and will re-enter if they feel they have a product that can compete.

We can’t say we’re shocked, especially when they only offered tablets like the Jetstream and the Flyer, which might have looked cool on paper, but just never seemed to pile up the sales numbers like offerings from their competitors.

Update:  An HTC spokesperson reached out to us to help clarify some of the statements made earlier. They had this to say:

“HTC is pleased with the results of our first foray into tablets—the HTC Flyer, EVO View 4G, and HTC Jetstream—and like any products in the mobile space that were release some time ago, our tablets have run through their planned lifecycles. We’re continuing to watch the tablet market very, very closely for the right opportunity to re-enter in a way in which we’re not just offering a “me too” tablet, but a product that’s compelling, differentiated, and inspiring to our customers.”

Saddened by the news?

Via: BGR

  • Tablets need USB. {{-_-}}

  • angermeans

    This is really bad news for android tablets in general that don’t carry the nexus name.

  • the sad part is some of us could tell them exactly what it would take to get back into the market. No studying, nothing academic, just plain listing to what we want could revive HTC.

  • Zach Armstrong

    HTC need to step up and roll out updates faster my Droid Incredible 2 is still waiting for ICS and then stop making carrier exclusives. The One X should of been on every carrier not just ATT.

  • Kernschatten

    I thought they pulled out of the tablet market a year ago.

  • Michael

    id buy an htc phone only problem is….. im on verizon please stop the exclusivity thats prob. thats y so many sales in the u.s are horrid. one x one verizon

  • ddevito

    That’s because with Windows 8 HTC now has a safety net and doesn’t need to explore other markets.

  • >> which we’re not just offering a “me too” tablet, but a product that’s
    compelling, differentiated, and inspiring to our customers.”

    It is exactly why they failed — as shown by the success of Nexus 7, people actually do want a “me too” tablet. The only real breakthrough of Nexus 7 is just one thing — its price.

  • Tony Allen

    HTC should stick to phones IMO anyway. They should also stick to only making a few good phones like they used to have.

  • Ibrick

    Maybe they can focus on high end smartphones available across the major carriers.

    Doesn’t seem like that’s a terribly difficult business model to follow. Maybe 2-3 phones a year, all high end materials and hardware and get back in the Nexus game. Focus on dominating that market and keep the market share they have.

  • well when you have a Nascar driver your communications manager of imaginary tablets its bound to be trouble.

    • JoshGroff

      “In my field of paper flowers…”

  • They sold tablets?

    • JoshGroff

      They made tablets, selling them, that’s another story. 😉

      • Yeah. God only knows what the hell made them think “Hey. I know everyone else prices their tablets the same as the iPad and they’re not selling at all. Let’s make ours even MORE expensive!”

  • Darren Tabor

    My response to this was: “HTC had tablets?” – trying to remember their names or what they looked like… :S

    • JoshGroff

      I only remembered the Flyer and Evo View.

      I was actually considering getting a Flyer, but ended up with a Touchpad instead. Wish I went with the Flyer originally because the 7″ form factor fits my needs much better, but I guess I wouldn’t have my N7 now if I did.

  • Pegleg

    Another mis-step by HTC! Not disappointed at all…I’m sitting with a very nice ASUS Infinity 700,,,64 GB internal, 64GB micro in tablet, 64GB SD in dock and Jelly Bean!

  • bkosh84

    Wait.. HTC had tablets?

    • New_Guy

      Well…it at least had something that looked like a tablet 🙂

  • I don’t know. I love my HTC Flyer. I did wait for the price to drop, but I’ve played with others and so far, haven’t even felt the itch to upgrade.

  • SH

    When will they realize that sense is killing their sales, and stop putting it on their Android phones?

    • JoshGroff

      Carrier exclusive phones are hurting them more than Sense.

  • Aardvark99

    Jeff would also like to thank all the boys in his crew and back at the garage. Also he couldn’t have doe this without his sponsors; Dupont, Coke, Dewalt tools, and Wranglers. We’ll get ’em next time!!

    Jimmy Johnson of Motorola was not available for comment.

    • JoshGroff

      NASCAR Reference = pro. First thing I thought when I saw Jeff Gordon, lol.

      • Darren Tabor

        Except – Pepsi sponsors Jeff, not Coke; they have no affiliation with DeWalt and Wrangler’s only connection is a personal services contract with teammate Dale Jr. Now, the AARP on the other hand…(also, JimmIE) 😀 – but still enjoyed the reference…

        • JoshGroff

          I only knew DuPont was a sponsor, I just assumed the rest were right. Also, I believe Jeff Gordon was in a Pepsi commercial, so that makes sense.

        • Aardvark99

          I was just pulling out random nascar-like sponsors but going w/ coke vs. pepsi is pure ‘fail’ on my part. Wrangler was stuck in my head from the Dale Jr commercial I just saw, which seemed a but “off” to me – but it’s probably just me.

  • azndan4

    Duh, cuz they overpriced all of their tablets. $500 for the Gingerbread Flyer? Give me a break. Idiots.

  • HTC Who?

  • motta2003

    I guess they are putting resources to getting ICS out for the Thunderbolt…

    • SpikedRed

      Amen, brother! I can’t believe how terribly awful they screwed up this update process. I’m willing to bet they’re going to come out with an announcement that the “official” update won’t be happening. It seems to me since the ICS leak was first posted, that there should be a ROM out there that is completely and fully functional. As of today, there isn’t.

      • JoshGroff

        The leak is fully functional though, ran it for a few weeks before I upgraded to the G-Nex a month or so ago.

        • SpikedRed

          I don’t think it’s as fully functional as you thought. As @New_Guy:disqus pointed out; it still won’t take videos, has WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth problems, and is draining the batteries like crazy. There are also some people who are having issues with the radio(s) turning data off and then on, randomly. There are patches for the battery drains, but that’s something that really shouldn’t have had to happen in the first place, considering that ICS is theoretically, supposed to be better at power management than it’s predecessor. I love my Tbolt when it works, but honestly, this phone was meant for the dumpster from the get.

          • JoshGroff

            I never really take videos, so I didn’t know that. WiFi and Bluetooth I used a bit, but didn’t have a bad enough experience to revert to GB. Battery life didn’t match Thundershed though. (I didn’t play with stock GB that much, so I can’t say it was worse or better.)

      • New_Guy

        Liquid is the closest, but video camera is till broken. Other than that it’s pretty amazing. Very fast.

    • truename

      Ouch! lol

    • Let’s hope so!!

  • fauxshizzl

    So THIS is what happens when you create a tablet thats sole selling point was that it was pen enabled, and then charged an additional $80 for the pen that didn’t come bundled with the tablet? I am shocked.

    • New_Guy

      …and was never updated past Gingerbread?…I’m not sure they ever REALLY stepped into the tablet market in the first place. Maybe stuck a big toe in at best. Asus, on the other hand, jumped in head first from day one and they are reaping the rewards for having a pair.

      • BSweetness

        The Jetstream launched with Honeycomb, and the Flyer and Evo View received official updates to Honeycomb.

        • New_Guy

          Really? Guess that shows how little I followed the two devices. Not sure Honeycomb is actually an upgrade, though :)…

          • BSweetness

            On the Flyer/View, Honeycomb was a big upgrade from Gingerbread in that it enabled the Scribe pen to work for pretty everything (apps, navigating through the UI, etc). On Gingerbread, the Scribe only worked with Scribe-specific apps. Also, as we all know, Honeycomb was designed for tablets, where Gingerbread never was. The big thing there was it allowed some apps that had tablet-specific layouts (such as Gmail) to be used. It was a pretty big upgrade.

          • hkklife

            HTC needs to tighten the belt drastically AND do lots of fat trimming. Beats was a foolish purchase and never should have happened to begin with. Sense/TouchFlo was a decent alternative back in the bad old WinMob days and earliest Android era but it’s utterly superfluous and totally unnecessary in the post-2.x era.

            I’d like to see them blow out their entire Sense staff and become a hardware company exclusively, cutting their Android offerings down to a handful of Nexus releases per year and putting more effort into their WP8 offerings. Dropping tablets is going to be a bad move in the long run, as phablets are going to blur the line between tablet and smartphone. Just because HTC botched their handful of tablet releases doesn’t mean they couldn’t do better–just look at Asus! Besides, any time you see a company becoming too reliant on the carrier/subsidy model for commoditized handsets, it ends up ultimately biting them in the ass (Palm/HP, RIM, Moto, and now HTC). All it takes is a botched release or two on a major carrier and one bad quarter can quickly turn into a gradual death spiral.

            I wouldn’t be surprised to ultimately see HTC returning to their roots as an ODM or withdrawing from even more of secondary markets. In hindsight, maybe they should have just purchased Palm and tried to straighten out WebOS and sat on all of that IP.

          • I think he means honeycomb was no good and should have never been on ANY android device! Look at the android stats and they will tell you just that. The fact that HTC refused to upgrade to ICS on there cells phones as well as tablets is a pretty clear statement that they are suffering with little to no way to get back.

          • BSweetness

            I know what he meant. My sarcasm detector is turned on. I was just saying that regardless of that, Honeycomb was still a decent upgrade for the Flyer/View from Gingerbread, if for nothing else than the ability to use the Scribe throughout the UI and apps. I owned a View for several months, and the Honeycomb update made it infinitely more useful.

        • fixxmyhead

          the jetstream was the biggest ripoff.it was like 800$ when it came out. the poor suckers that bought it

  • Greyhame

    Wow. Is it just me or is anyone else getting worried about HTC sticking with android? As steeply as Samsung has risen, HTC seems to have fallen. Their exclusive deals seem to be really hurting them here in the states.

    • I honestly stopped buying HTC devices when they were building windows phone 6.. Always had a weird quirk w/their devices that seemed to ONLY be present on their devices..

    • Ping pong ping

      Their windows phone 8 devices look great but I believe MSFT told them they couldnt mske windows 8 tablets because they were “inexperienced”

    • Justin W

      I agree with this – it seems as if they are going to drop out of the Android market because they aren’t doing so well with it. Sure, the One X is a nice phone, but it’s stuck on AT&T and gets to compete with the iPhone, and AT&T probably doesn’t care about it as much as the iPhone.

    • florious80

      I think they will exit android. The problem is though, what will they do instead? Win 8? But that’s still a young ecosystem without much to rely a whole company on.

      For me, their downfall isn’t so much the exclusive deals (although that definitely hurt them), but more because of their design philosophy of non-removable battery and lack of SD card slot. Personally I would not consider phones with both of those traits (outside of a Nexus that we all know won’t have SD in the future).

      • PSU_DI

        HTC has lost a lot of ground for many reasons, but I don’t think that the non-removable battery and lack of SD card are the reasons, the Razr Maxx is wildly popular and it’s non removable and not to mention that people seem not to have an issue with the iphone not having a removable battery. As for a SD card slot, Google has really pushed away from it, since there are performance benefits not to have one. I personally like the option but I don’t think that its a show stopper. The main downfall of HTC was that BEATs audio was the defining feature of there phones last year and they had no other inovations. Samsung and LG are really making progress with “exclusive” features that are mainly in regards to multitasking. HTC hasn’t done anything here and Sense is continueing to fall further and further behind with each new release of Google’s OS. ICS and JB really brought polish to Android and it made Sense feel even more bloated and dated. If HTC wants to succeed they need to reinvent Sense again… and give us features that makes our phones work better than the others, right now that’s what they can’t do.

    • I agree I love the HTC products, I have a Thunderbolt and a HTC Flyer, Now I will have think about Samsung or Motorola = Google products. well Keep the HTC product could become museum items!!!

  • I have to say its a little sad, I was looking forward to those images of that iMac-esque tablet I have seen floating around. Maybe they could be part of a Nexus tablet program, its a shame really, HTC makes nice hardware but I want a Nexus. If they made a One X Nexus, I’d be all over it.

    • New_Guy

      I’m not sure they’ve got the guns to handle the lawsuit from Apple that was destined to come. Might be a good idea for them to step back for a second and rework their strategy.

  • AlexKCMO

    You can’t put out a Tablet with an outdated OS and a custom skin.

    They had some great ideas (I really liked the Flyer as a concept), but terrible implementation.

    • Justin W

      Galaxy Tab 2.0?

      • JoshGroff

        And outdated hardware, it burns.

    • JoshGroff

      Samsung gets away with doing the exact same thing.

    • hkklife

      I managed to finally unload my Evo View 4G (that’s the Flyer in black with 2x internal storage + Sprint WiMax). Still a VERY solid piece of hardware that stacks up well to the current crop of 7″ tablets not named Nexus (ie it charges over microUSB, 1GB RAM, 32Gb internal storage + microSDHC slot, 2 cameras etc). It’s just let down by only having a single-core SnapDragon and of course, the dual misery of Sense + Honeycomb. A HTC-manufactured Nexus tablet would have been AWESOME indeed. Heck, I’d be happywith stock ICS or JB on any of the existing HTC tablets, as they are all stylish and well-built devices.
      But HTC pushed carrier-branded tablets WAY too hard last year when the market was begging for wi-fi only options and of course, their broken promises and/or continued silence on ICS updates is now legendary. After having been burned on the View and having 3 friends still stuck on the Inc2 and TB ICS updates, it’s fairly safe to say HTC has totally fallen out of favor with most of the diehard Android fans I know unless it’s a future Nexus device.
      P.S. As recently as 2 months ago (maybe even less), my local AT&T corporate store was STILL selling the Jetstream on contract for some ridiculous price–$599 w/ a 2yr or so. WTF!!!???

  • Not sad at all. Now, if they had ever built a Nexus tablet, that might be another story.