Android Phones

WIRED profiles HTC’s rise from blip to bright star

December 23, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka


WIRED profiles HTC’s rise from blip to bright star

Palm and Motorola, take note: you too can rise from the dust to becoming a leading company in the mobile phone sector. Wired magazine has an article about HTC’s journey from a small Taiwanese firm to one of the most important names in Android (and the smartphone industry as a whole). Imagine being a blip in Asia and then growing to be a standard-bearer in the world in less than 10 years. That’s the story of HTC.

There are a number of interesting tidbits to grab from WIRED’s story, but I’d rather you read the article in full. However, I will highlight a couple of important passages/sentiment in the article:

  • One in six smartphones sold in the United States last year was an HTC phone, according to Nielsen Mobile. A number of new Android phones are set to release in 2010, so we can probably count on another strong year from the company.
  • HTC got their start in PDA making but transitioned into mobile phones because CEO Peter Chou realized that would be a more fruitful market to pursue. In 2002, HTC had two phones on the market and was soon producing several more. Best. Decision. Ever.

“For many years, HTC has been the company behind the scenes,” he says. “In the earlier days, we did not post our brand on the phones. But three years ago we made a decision within the company to build the HTC brand.”

It’s not just vanity. Smartphones are an intensely competitive market. At the top, Apple and Research In Motion both have strong brand recognition and a growing base of users. In the middle, producers such as Samsung and LG own a huge share of the feature-phone market, but are hungry to sell more smartphones. And at the bottom, contract manufacturers such as Acer and Asus are looking to crawl up the chain. For now, HTC still occupies the lower tiers of brand recognition. A stronger brand would translate to more clout, fatter margins and bigger revenues.

Android plays a crucial role in HTC’s movement towards that goal. Head over to Wired to read the article in full. It will also make it obvious why I selected HTC and Drew Bamford as one of the 10 Most Important Names in Android. Not that you needed further explanation on something so obvious; HTC is everywhere these days.