Taiwanese device maker HTC produced one of 2013’s most well-reviewed smartphones with the HTC One. Analyst and company estimates pointed to the device and its subsequent variations collectively generating moderately successful sales, but having trended downwards to close out the year. The company’s latest flagship device, the One M8, boasted increased functionality, user interface changes, and a modified look and feel, all of which were generally well received by industry watchers prior to the smartphone’s launch on March 25, 2014. While HTC’s latest One model has gotten off to a slower start than its predecessor, it’s clear that the company is betting on the success of the flagship device to boost its standing in the smartphone marketplace.
To provide a view of the current state of HTC and the larger Android smartphone marketplace, Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Android smartphone-based online ad impressions between March 24 and March 30, 2014. Figures were then graphed based on average traffic shares observed over the seven-day study period.
As the above graph shows, HTC One model users generate a plurality of total North American HTC smartphone Web traffic, with users of the One M8 accounting for 0.1% of the total. This is behind the adoption rate of the original HTC One in the first week following its April 2013 release, with the earlier model’s usage share averaging to roughly 1% on the same scale. Despite the muted news for the week-old One M8, the combined HTC One usage share can reasonably be seen as good news for HTC in terms of transitioning its user base over to the latest generation of smartphones. Additionally, given the context that AT&T and Sprint are still largely ramping up their sales efforts for the One M8, the long-term success of the flagship smartphone is still very much up in the air.
Looking more broadly, HTC’s share of Android smartphone Web traffic, the OS that the majority of its devices run, is still less than 10% of the North American total. As such, the company’s slate of HTC One variants still represent a relatively small portion of the overall continental smartphone environment.
HTC has bet big on its One line of smartphones to help revive its consumer device business. The company is hoping to give the One M8 a leg up on its competitors through the device’s lauded set of features and by preempting the release of the Samsung Galaxy S V along with this year’s slate of Apple iPhones. While reviews have largely been quite positive, the phone’s launch price places it squarely in competition with those aforementioned popular offerings from Samsung and Apple. By launching on the nation’s largest carriers, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, on the same day the phone was formally announced, the company has achieved a good deal of buzz – something that was lost with the supply chain problems that plagued last year’s device. As carrier marketing and sales efforts build, combined with the One M8 launching on T-Mobile next month, the amplitude of any further usage rate increases should provide some additional clarity in terms of the phone’s long-term prospects, and hence, provide a good proxy for HTC’s success in the North American marketplace.