Serious and honest self-reflection is frequently one of the hardest things for an individual or group, yet is almost always a good thing and worth the challenge. Being able to objectively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses can yield tangible benefits when attempting to learn from the past and plan for the future. RIM is a good example of a group that has a tough time with this concept. They seem to be more content with sticking their head in the sand instead of admitting they need some major changes and growth to become competitive again.
HTC, on the other hand, seems to have found the courage to dig deep within, and face themselves in the mirror. As we reported previously, HTC had a poor showing last quarter, and in 2011 overall. Their prospects for the future aren't that great either. However, instead of locking into despair, (or denial as the case is with RIM), they have decided to pick themselves up and attempt a "reboot" on their strategies for 2012. The CFO of HTC, Winston Yung recently admitted that they “dropped the ball on products,” especially in the US with 4G LTE devices. One of the biggest criticism's labeled against HTC’s LTE products was that they had a “thicker form factor” than competitors, Yung admitted. He also shared that weak battery life is an issue with these devices as well. He conceded, “we simply need to do a better job on both the design, and also the internals and the components of products.”
HTC's self-reflection has already yielded a good restart, at least in the "action-phase" of moving forward. HTC is now going to create an in-house high-level “studio” that will be overseen directly by CEO Peter Chou. This new internal control-group will also consist of folks from HTC’s design and engineering teams. Their primary focus will be to improve product strategy and focus on "key products that we are going to launch this year.” Furthermore, one of the other tough choices that HTC may be looking at is diversifying their chipset line for future devices. In the past, they have focused on only using Qualcomm chips, but Yung added that HTC has “a very good range of suppliers to choose from on CPU, for example. I don’t think we are constrained in any way from a component point of view.” This could potentially open up opportunities for them to develop either more powerful phones, or more battery efficient phones, or both, depending on the situation.
It will be interesting to see if HTC can translate these difficult steps into powerful and sustainable results. From what we know, they do seem to have slowed down production so as not to over-saturate the market with too many phones. The two primary phones that HTC has in the pipeline are the mid-tier "HTC Ville" and the high-end "HTC Edge." Share your thoughts on whether you think HTC can stage a comeback in 2012.