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HTC Revamps Hero Device Strategy Forming “Studio” For Design

HTC CEO Peter Chou file photo: TDG

HTC came barreling out of the gate in the initial Android boom. After releasing the Google branded G1 they continued with hit after hit for Android phones. The HTC Incredible and the original Google Nexus One are just some of their legacy Android handsets that are still employed in wide scale today.

However, during their Q4 earnings call HTC admitted that they had lost their way. In the wake of trying to crank out handset after handset they got lazy and for instance, put 4G/LTE chips in their legacy design producing a rather thick HTC Thunderbolt.

In Sprint’s relationship with HTC the carrier and the manufacturer decided to take the design of the HTC Merge, with it’s slide out keyboard and produce the HTC Evo Shift 4G, that phone was about as popular as the Motorola DeVour. In fact if you’re sitting on an HTC Evo Shift 4G and want to trade it in at Best Buy, no dice as that phone comes back with zero in trade in value.

More after the break
Prior to Android HTC had some cutting edge designs with smartphones. Although they weren’t as big a name as they are now, they definitely want to get around to producing hits rather than just producing phones. That’s why they’ve formed a new “Studio” division to spearhead their “Hero Device” strategy in 2012.

This new division will report directly to HTC CEO Peter Chou, who as we all know, is very hands on when it comes to smart devices and Android. It was Chou who came out of the woodwork when developers were doubting HTC’s intention to unlock bootloaders. Chou quickly responded via HTC’s Facebook page and has made sure that HTC has quickly unlocked the bootloaders of many of their devices. In fact at this point in time they are caught up to every device released in 2011.

We found out in speaking with HTC representatives at CES that the unlocked bootloader is as important to HTC as it is to the developer. HTC takes a lot of the ideas that developers incorporate into their ROMs, apps, and themes and uses them in future models.

As for the new HTC Studio, HTC’s CFO Winston Yung said:

“From the design point of view, from the choice of components, having a lot more open mind as to what components we use, and using the most appropriate components for the phone. By having a more focused approach to our product strategy, and having the organization behind the product strategy to support it. I think I have told some people when talked about the creation of this Studio, which is a department within HTC that reports directly to Peter [Chou, HTC CEO]. And this group of people comprise the team from design, the team from engineering and etc; working on a cross disciplinary approach, and reporting directly to Peter. It has a lot of focus, is spending a lot of time on the key products that we are going to launch this year”

HTC has had an exclusive relationship with Quacomm and the SnapDragon chipset over the past few years. It looks like HTC may consider seeing other people when it comes to chipsets to expand on their portfolio and in some instances get phones to market quicker.

Although they haven’t said which other silicon manufacturers they would turn to, a safe bet is that they’re considering Nvidia and the Tegra 3 as well as TI’s OMAP chipset which is the preferred chipset for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Whatever HTC officially has in store for us in 2012 we do know one thing and that is that HTC will give us a sneak peak February 26th in Barcelona.

source: Unwired View