The HTC One M9 is without a doubt, the most disappointing phone I have touched in years. HTC had a short list of items to address from 2014 to 2015 to make an almost-perfect phone and essentially failed at all of them. As I said in my One M9 review, I have no idea what the hell HTC spent the last year working on. What I do know is that your company has completely screwed up (maybe given up too), when your flagship phone from the previous year is better than your flagship phone for this year. You also know things are bad when you spend the weeks leading up to the release of your hand-picked media reviews, reminding everyone that once the phone hits customers’ hands and all of the early bloated benchmarks are public, you will throttle the phone down to not melt anyone’s face off.
After apologizing to shareholders for the company’s poor performance for the fourth straight year (stock price has dropped from NT$1300 in 2011 to under NT$100), CEO Cher Wang essentially admitted that it’s time for her company to do something different going forward and try not to repeat the past few years of mistakes. Wang told shareholders that HTC would launch a “hero product” in October to help boost their smartphone segment, but that they would also make significant improvements in innovation and design for their flagship phone for 2016. In other words, the HTC One M10 might not suck.
Well, there are no guarantees, but it sounds like HTC will at least put some effort into next year’s phone. That’s good news for those who don’t want to see HTC exit the smartphone market with their tails between their legs. And I’m not saying they should exit this arena, but when you look at the decline from 2011 to now, and also take a look at the embarrassment that is the One M9, you have to wonder why they continue to hang around. How much further downward can you go before it’s time to give in?
As for other HTC news, the company will not renew the contract of Robert Downey Jr. That, my friends, is terrible news. We will no longer get these glorious, “Someone just hand me this stupid phone already so I can fulfill my contract and move on” ads.
Does anyone have any confidence in HTC at this point?