updated 12:05 pm EST, Mon February 6, 2012
HTC regrets 2011 focus on 4G at all costs
HTC during a call discussing its low forecast and results backtracked from the strategy that dictated 2011. CFO Winston Yung acknowledged a lukewarm reception for fall devices but added that the company's philosophy throughout all of last year, where it was willing to make thick, short-lived devices for the sake of having 4G, was a mistake. The "next product cycle" of devices would fix this, Yung said, hinting at the Ville and Endeavor.
The company had already said it planned to focus on fewer but better phones in 2012.
HTC was one of the very first to have an LTE smartphone in the market through the Vivid. By insisting on using a first-generation LTE chipset at all costs, however, it ended up with devices that were both much thicker than slim devices like the iPhone as well as considerably shorter-lived. Return rates for the Thunderbolt were rumored to be high as it could last for just four to six hours on a charge with 4G active.
HTC's about-face indirectly validates Apple's hesitance to jump into 4G early. It argued that an LTE iPhone in 2011 would have required too many sacrifices. While at the time many considered this a mistake that would let Android get the lead, it has so far proven to be no deterrent to Apple's sales. Verizon sold nearly twice as many iPhones as its entire 4G roster combined, leaving any one LTE Android manufacturer with just a fraction of the demand.
HTC won't have to give up LTE for 2012, but it will have to wait for Qualcomm to ship a new chipset that should make for much smaller, more battery-efficient LTE than is available today. Given Apple's current use of Qualcomm for the iPhone 4S, many anticipate this leading to LTE iPhones, in addition to Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone models, that don't have to compromise the design. [via SlashGear]