Does HTC still make phones? Here’s what you need to know about a new HTC phone in 2021 and beyond…
The Latest HTC Phones
The Company’s Last Flagship Phone
Release Date: October, 2020
The HTC U20 was HTC’s last true flagship phone. It got a release in October 2020 and didn’t do too well with respect to sales and market penetration. The ran Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G platform and supported 5G out the box. It also shopped with a fairly decent quad-lens camera, fronted by a 48MP sensor, and packed a 5000mAh battery with 15W Fast Charge.
2018’s Flagship Phone
Release Date: June, 2018
The HTC U12 was the U20’s predecessor. Like its successor, the U12 was a flagship phone; it ran on the latest Snapdragon CPU, packed in 6GB of RAM, and had a fairly competitive dual-lens camera module on both the front and the rear of the phone. It shipped with Android 8 and featured a 3500mAh battery.
HTC Desire 20 Pro
A Solid, Mid-Range Android Phone
Release Date: July 2020
The HTC Desire 20 Pro launched in 2020 and was aimed squarely at the lower-end of the market. Had HTC launched this phone, or a phone like it, back in 2015 it might still have been in business proper today. But it didn’t, and the market changed, and in 2020 the mid-range/low-end market is now just as competitive as the high-end of the market, thanks to amazing release from Samsung, OPPO, POCO, RealMe, and VIVO.
HTC Wildfire X
Best iPhone 11 Deal Right Now
Release Date: August 2019
Released in 2019, the HTC Wildfire X is a quirky mid-range Android phone that runs on MediaTek’s Helio P22 platform. This phone was all about value for money with a focus on camera tech – it has a triple lens camera module and shipped with a decent amount of storage (128GB). Again, though, it failed to make much of an impact, thanks once again to more competitive brands like RealMe and POCO.
Is The HTC Desire 20 Pro Any Good?
The latest HTC Phone is the HTC Desire 20 Pro. Released on July 18, 2020, the HTC Desire 20 Pro is a mid-range Android phone that packs in a quad-lens camera on its rear that is fronted by an impressive 48MP main sensor.
The HTC Desire 20 Pro packs in a 5000mAh battery life, runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 platform, and comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You also have support for microSD cards too, so you can expand the storage.
The HTC Desire 20 Pro has a 6.5in IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. Unlike many of HTC’s older phones, the display is not AMOLED or particularly high resolution with a pixel density of 396 ppi.
The specs on the HTC Desire 20 Pro are decent enough how much the phone costs, but you do have plenty of better options from POCO, VIVO, and RealMe – options that look better and pack in more impressive specs and performance.
This phone isn’t a flagship, obviously. But HTC doesn’t make flagship phone anymore; its last flagship release was 2018’s HTC U12+.
But sadly that phone failed to pick up many fans, again, losing ground to more popular brands like Samsung, OPPO, and Apple with its ever-popular range of iPhones.
HTC Has We Previously Knew It Is DEAD…
But first, let’s bring you up to scratch with what has happened to the HTC brand in recent years because it is actually a pretty interesting story…
Once one of the biggest innovators in the Android phone market, HTC has fallen on hard times in the past several years. The company still makes phones, however, as you’ll below but it is no longer competing with the big boys like it once did.
What Happened To HTC?
How did it go from such a big deal to a nothing brand in the space of a few, short years? As with most things in life and tech, it relates to money, influence, and resources.
HTC basically didn’t have enough of any of these things.
You see, HTC, despite punching well outside its weight class for years, was never a big company. Compared to brands like Apple and Samsung, HTC was tiny – it had limited resources and could not “spend” its way into the hearts and minds of consumers as Samsung did between 2012 and 2015.
That’s not a slight on Samsung, either; it is a fact – Samsung outspent EVERYBODY with its marketing between 2012 and 2015, ploughing a record $13 billion on marketing its first slew of Galaxy S devices.
This is how Samsung’s phone business got to where it is today; it spent the money required to get its phones into the head of millions of people through good ‘ol fashioned advertising.
HTC, with its smaller budgets and vastly smaller workforce, could not compete with this kind of offensive play and, while it did manage to last longer than most expected, around 2015 things started to get pretty bleak – sales dipped, its market share plummeted, and it began making big losses.
Are HTC Phones Still Being Made?
HTC is still making phones; its latest, the HTC Desire 20 Pro and Wildfire R70, are not flagships and are pitched instead at the lower end of the market. The top end of the phone market, particularly in the west, is dominated by Apple and Samsung.
For this reason, HTC is looking elsewhere – places like India and Brazil. This is why its new phones are priced low; if it is going to get any growth it will be from cheap phones sold in emerging markets. The days of HTC launching flagships in the US and UK are effectively over.
Why Did HTC Fail?
HTC failed for a couple of reasons, in my opinion. The first – and most catastrophic – error the company made was ignoring the budget market. Had HTC taken a leaf out of Samsung’s book and invested in low-cost, high-value phones it might still have been a dominant player in the market today.
The top-end of the market is always tricky, even Samsung has has its struggles these past few years, with weak S10 and S20 sales. But because Samsung has a thriving budget/mid-range phone business, it still remains grossly profitable. HTC simply banked on the idea that its brand could compete with Apple and Samsung on merit alone – and that was a massive error.
The second mistake HTC made was to do with competition. As noted above, HTC – at its height – viewed itself as one of Samsung and Apple’s peers. These companies were its competition. Not brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, VIVO, and RealMe.
HTC viewed itself as a premium brand and would not consider “cheapening itself” by lowering the cost of its phones. But once the high-end market had been carved up by Apple and Samsung, there wasn’t much room for anyone else – especially HTC.
The result of this misevaluation of its brand appeal saw the company’s sales tank which, in turn, caused it to haemorrhage money, lose staff, and make life generally very unpleasant for its investors.
And all the while, in the background, new phone brands like Xiaomi, RealMe, OPPO, and VIVO were growing at unprecedented rates. And the reason? Price. These upstart Chinese brands took the OnePlus phone model and upped the ante which quickly piqued the interest of consumers.
And this sucked for HTC because, lest we forget, as a company, HTC has been one of the biggest and best innovators in the mobile phone space ever. This was why HTC’s phone division was eventually acquired by Google – Google knew HTC’s IP was strong and well worth the $1.4 billion it paid for it.
Does HTC Have Any 5G Phones?
HTC does have a 5G phone. The HTC U20 5G runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G CPU and packs in some pretty decent specs. Currently, it is the ONLY 5G phone HTC makes.
HTC could release a new 5G phone in 2021, but so far nothing has been confirmed officially.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.