HTC isn’t in a good place. I can’t remember the last time the company was, actually.
Maybe 2010? I don’t know – it was too long ago to remember.
The HTC 10 was decent enough, almost a return to form for the once-great brand that helped define the Android space, but it lost out, once again, to strong iPhone sales and increasing pressure from brands like Huawei and OnePlus.
The HTC U Ultra is HTC’s latest attempt at re-establishing itself in the phone space. I haven’t had a chance to review this phone yet but I have seen Marques Brownlee’s verdict on the handset and it ain’t pretty.
Mr. Brownlee always provides decent, thorough and usually objective reviews of handsets. I really like his channel and what he does, so when I saw that he lampooned the HTC U Ultra, I couldn’t wait to see what was up.
Check out the full video below:
The basic problem, I can see, is that HTC is charging WAY TOO MUCH for this phone. For whatever reason, HTC has got into its head that it is a premium brand and can charge whatever the hell it likes for its phones.
It seems to be copying Apple’s business model of using excessively high margins on each handset in order to make the maximum amount of profit. Hell, HTC has even removed the headphone jack on the HTC U ULTRA. Not that it even needed too; the ULTRA is 8mm thick!
The problem with this approach is that HTC does not have the volume or the brand awareness to do this. I mean this phone is more expensive than Google’s Pixel phone, a phone that many people positively despise on account of its price tag.
Surely HTC was aware of this prior to launch? If Google is struggling to get away with these kinds of prices, then surely HTC wouldn’t stand a chance.
Part of the reason I hated the HTC One M9 so much was because it cost way too much money and wasn’t all that different from the HTC One M8.
The ULTRA is the same thing regurgitated for 2017: overpriced, poorly designed, according to Mr. Brownlee, and no way near as good as its peers (the LG G6, upcoming Galaxy S8, and Xperia XZ Premium).
And then there’s the other, MASSIVE elephant in the room; why the hell would you pay almost $700 for this phone when you can pick up the OnePlus 3T for $439?
Simple. You wouldn’t. You’d get the OnePlus 3T.
HTC is trying to compete with Apple and Samsung directly, both on price and design, but as history has shown us, it simply cannot do this. HTC needs to have a long, hard look at itself and find another way. The days of making a phone and charging as much as you like are over.
Xiaomi, OnePlus and OPPO have seen to this.