|Above: HTC Chief Marketing Officer, Idris Mootee.|
HTC = HATE THE COMPETITION
Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It great to see you as always! I hope you are well and that your tech is functioning without a hitch or glitch! Are you going to add the Apple Watch to your collection of gadgets?
Y’know, I have to admit that I concentrated on Samsung at the recent Mobile World Congress. I intend to catch up on the other contenders in due course and this evening I am going to start with everybody’s favourite, HTC. LMAO!
HTC’s new Chief Marketing Officer Idris Mootee called Samsung "a massive brand and enterprise", but said it “doesn’t stand for anything except for profit”. Here are my thoughts... Read on...
#HTC #IdrisMootee #Samsung #OneM9 #GalaxyS6 #GalaxyS6Edge
Top: HTC One M9 vs. Galaxy S6 Edge (bottom). Even though I would have loved Samsung to have put a set of front-facing stereo speakers on the Galaxy S6 I can't help but be seduced by this out of this world design that is the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Yes, Idris Mootee is HTC’s new Chief Marketing Officer and he’s come out with a rather bizarre statement as above. Name one electronics manufacturer that is not in business to make a profit and I will be the first in line for a free gadget! If this is part of the marketing strategy to help sell the One M9 then I think Mootee is off to a bad start.
I think most people who love technology are fed up to the back teeth of battles between rival electronic / technological giants. What we want to see is innovative products at a reasonable price. No fighting talk is going to sell a handset (or tablet or smartwatch) if it is lacking in certain areas. And even if I wasn’t a Samsung consumer I can’t agree that it stands for pure profit as some serious hard work went into the design of the Galaxy S6 and especially the S6 Edge! Again, I have watched Samsung pull out all the stops to arrive at what I think are better products despite the non-removable battery and no microSD card slot (I’ve covered that).
Oddly, he has nothing but admiration for Apple...
“I think Apple has been quite successful – not quite, has been very successful, not very, has been super successful – in connecting people to something that’s just an electronic product. They stand for something bigger – bigger than the brand,” gushes Mootee.
To put it quite bluntly: it’s a load of parasite infested crap! I can see how someone in the position of a Chief Marking Officer would admire Apple’s hypnotic evangelicalesque manner in which they market its products but you just have to look up the kilt to see that there’s not much substance there. And you have to admire – to a certain extent – the huge mark-up on Apple products and more importantly – from a sales point of view – that people pay for them!
If you have read my interpretation of the Apple Watch keynote you know what I think of Apple’s products. What? You have it read it? Shame on you! Lol! Here it is: Apple Watch Keynote – a SynapseCircuit observation.
FOLLOWERS vs. LEADERS
Is it safe to say that the bigwigs Apple, Samsung and HTC (put them in your preferred order fan-folk) have pretty much torn up the rule book on marketing playing it as they see it. Apple was reluctant to go beyond a 3.5” screen and they had to succumb to the innovations that Android set – notably Samsung with the Galaxy Note – and come up with the 6 Plus. In the meantime Samsung and HTC developed a signature design for the respective flagships and stuck to it just like Apple has stuck to the iPhone design.
As a result of sticking to a design formula Samsung was seen as stagnant by many with the Galaxy S5 and now HTC are receiving the same criticisms for the One M9 not being radically different this time around. As you know, Samsung took the opportunity to do something about the designs with the “Ground Zero” strategy that has worked for them. You only have to look at LG and Motorola, as two great examples, to see that the Android market is chiefly about radical design as well as the innards that drive the devices.
Seriously, I thought that I would NEVER touch a Motorola handset again after the disappointing RAZRi; I found that after a relatively short while – something like 6 months – that the handset felt rather sluggish. The Kevlar material for the back had started to fry for no reason – it wasn’t as if it was my daily driver. But when the Moto series of handsets came to fruition I just had to get the Second Generation Moto G and, further on down the line, the Moto X inspired Nexus 6! The designs of these handsets are just sublime!
In a nutshell HTC has to radicalize the design of its handsets. By all means keep that beautiful looking front-facing stereo speakers but do something with the rest of the handset. The trouble with the industry – including Apple’s iPhone – is that rumours of a new established handset conjures up budding designers that post up concept art based on the original models that inspired them. In most cases these concept renderings are better than the actual handset. And if HTC (and others) want to keep the consumer sated from a visual point of view it has to forget the idea of a signature design. Will Samsung follow HTC’s and Motorola’s lead and produce a Galaxy Note 5 and / or S7 with front-facing speakers?
Just to reiterate: the Android market is driven by radical design. So, HTC, if you are reading this you can thank me by sending me a handset in the not too distant future! It also should be noted (no pun intended) that all the Android manufacturers have followed Samsung’s lead in producing a “phablet” as an alternative to the Galaxy Note. As I keep saying... Moooo! Oh, the cows have come home! If only I weren’t lactose intolerant... Anyhoo, I have yet to see a phablet that has the functionality of the Galaxy Note (1, 2, 3 and 4). So, these phablets should be dubbed “fanlets” as these king or queen sized handsets appeal to those that appreciate their brands. HTC can say what they want about Samsung’s innovations in TouchWiz but they DO work! Moooo! Ssh, cows! You CAN switch off certain Air and eye tracking functions in TouchWiz. I wonder if Samsung’s forced inhibition had them underplaying the Galaxy S5’s capabilities... I think so! I felt that Samsung’s introduction to the Galaxy S5 was very, very subdued compared to that of the pebble inspired Galaxy S3 launch! Samsung didn’t show off the Air and eye tracking functions in TouchWiz; functionality was played down to push the fingerprint sensor and the water and dust resistance.
This is a lesson for all Android manufacturers: SHOW THE FREAK OFF! Don’t give a crap about getting bad press as the majority of tech-press is iPhone biased – I have proven that! Read this: Digital Clowns – Apple Biased Based Mediathinks you’re an iDiot. At the end of the day the press launch isn’t just for the media... Uh-uh! The press launches is for the fans! They will watch a live stream and make up their own minds. It’s Samsung’s press launches that has gotten me familiar with the handset even before I’ve gotten my hands on it (as a consumer and reviewer). Of course, other manufacturers have piqued my interest too! I want to know if the quality of the ZenFone 2 camera is as ASUS claims! I want to know what 4GB on an Intel based 64-bit handset means!
Instead of making odd statements HTC has to go to town to sell its concepts to the consumer. This brings me to another... Mooo... Bugbear with HTC...
THE (SMARTPHONE) CAMERA
The smartphone camera has taken out the pocket camcorders to the point where I can’t remember a single brand... I have one on the tip of my mind but that’s the whole point: pocket camcorders are history! As smartphone cameras are becoming better in terms of the mega pixel count, lens, flash and software the digital camera market has had to up its game. And, as you know, the quality of the results varies between the handset manufacturers. I have to take my hat off Apple for sticking with 8MP for so long and giving the user quality results each and every time. No, I don’t hate the iPhone or Apple – new readers – if that’s what the consumer likes then that’s his or hers freedom of choice. I just don’t like the ethos coming from it (Apple).
As a Samsung consumer I have found that its cameras in the Galaxy S1 up to the S5 very, very pleasing. I think that the results are better than that of the iPhone; most reviewers appear not to use the different camera modes when comparing to the likes of the iPhone, etc. But in my early days as a reviewer I posted up some stunning – in my humble opinion – pictures and videos from the S2, S3 and S4 online. More to the point I have gotten a number of HTC handsets as a second driver (just so you know, I keep a number of handsets on small contracts so that I can review handsets by removing the SIM from one and into the review unit without any hassle). I had the Hero and coming from the Nokia 95 I didn’t think too much of the camera as I was using a dedicated digital camera.
It took the Galaxy S and S2 to convince me to leave my digital cameras at home! I was and still am stunned by the quality I get from the Samsung Galaxy cameras. Then I got an HTC Desire before reviewing it as I assumed (never assume) that I was going to get a decent camera with it. Uh-uh! NO! The quality of the HTC Desire pictures had more grain in them than Uncle Ben’s or a packet of cereal. I told myself not to go HTC again... However, I didn’t listen to myself and was suckered by the HTC One X advert that had some fashion designer taking a picture of a model through the unusual method of skydiving. The camera was an improvement but the grain was persistent and video was jagged – you’d have thought that I had consumed way too many energy drinks the way the video was jumping. As a result I don’t bother to take important pictures with the One X; I tend to use the One X to update my social networks. If I am going to make an effort to take pleasing photos I bring out my Galaxy S4, Note 2 and Note 4. Sometimes I would use the Moto G Second Generation as that’s surprisingly good and my Nexus 6 which is reasonable when I take the time as I find it less immediate than my Galaxy handsets.
So, even if I wanted a change from Samsung to experience something different HTC is not up there on my list – not even in the top ten! When I heard that HTC put something called “Ultrapixels” that turned out to be 4MP I knew that the quality wasn’t going to be want I wanted. I am not going to get a premium handset that puts out bad quality photos. It is that simple. At the moment I would rather resort to using a pinhole camera – the kind they used to get you to make in school projects – than take a chance on a HTC handset camera.
IN CLOSING: SUBSTANTIATE
Substantiation is the first port of call in marketing; as a manufacturer it is not enough to, let’s say, make a shoe that is made from cardboard and telling the consumer that it is great as long as you don’t wear it in the rain. You have to make sure that your products can compete. And this is what I want to see... Sometimes the verbal exchange can be mildly entertaining but really and truly it comes down to one thing: putting a product(s) that is worthy of being on the marketplace.
I can live with a tried and tested design signature as it has been with the Samsung handsets but if the hardware isn’t up to much I can’t do anything with it. HTC has got to start thinking seriously – if it hasn’t already – about its camera technology. HTC should think about people like me who are loyal to Samsung because of the camera results alone! Forget this stupid bitching about TouchWiz “lag” as it’s not going to kill me if I have to wait a millisecond for an app to launch! But hey, even with the help of CyanogenMod’s custom ROM for the One X it feels like an eternity waiting for an app to launch when I tap an icon. The Galaxy S2 is more fluid in comparison with the equivalent CyanogenMod custom ROM (based on KitKat). HTC must – if it is to survive – deliver an all-round experience.
And when it comes to marketing HTC have got to do better than the incoherent adverts that features Robert Downey Jr. People need to know what the advantages are. Just look at how Samsung sold the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge by showing a low light picture and video result compared to the iPhone 6 Plus: SOLD! People can talk crap about the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge being an iPhone clone for placing the headphone jack and speaker grille at the bottom but I am having one!
HTC have no one to blame but them for not being able to compete. Good luck to HTC if it doesn’t want to see Xiaomi as a competitor and that its rise to the top of the Chinese market will be short-lived. The proof is in the pudding as they say. If HTC aren’t careful Huawei is there waiting to crack at least the UK market as we get the low and mid range handsets from them. Again, ASUS and the ZenFone 2 and ZenFone Zoom could cause some damage to the HTC market share. HTC might want to join Tim Cook in cloud cuckoo land but at least Apple has created an ecosystem around the Mac computer and iTunes; the iPhone is a gateway to iTunes. HTC has none of that. HTC needs to get some sense! Wink, wink!
Competition only makes the market stronger as manufacturers have to up ante; I hope HTC can make a comeback.
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