A brand new report surfacing out of The Verge suggests things are not all sunshine and rainbows in HTC’s camp. With key staff exiting the company, a “disastrous” HTC First launch and inventory constraints plaguing the HTC One launch, the company’s future looks anything but certain.
In the past three months HTC has lost Jason Gordon, the company’s vice president of global communications; global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland, director of digital marketing John Starkweather, and product strategy manager Eric Lin.
In fact, HTC is being likened to T-Mobile of two years ago which saw an exodus as the AT&T deal loomed.
“Anyone who’s heard of them in Seattle doesn’t want to go work for them right now. They’re like T-Mobile two years ago,” one source told us, gesturing to a downtrodden T-Mobile that was hemorrhaging subscribers leading up to AT&T’s attempted (and failed) acquisition. “They’re in utter freefall.”
That’s not to say HTC still doesn’t have plenty of talent on the hardware and software sides and writing them off now would be preliminary. Unfortunately, the release of the HTC First has drained morale as the device is already rumored to be on the chopping block. With a price cut from $99 to 99 cents in less than a month, the phone is said to be a “disaster” according to one source.
As for the company’s CEO Peter Chou, he’s signaled his intent to stop down if the HTC One isn’t successful. How that retail success will be defined is unknown, but it was Chou who moved the company forward with the One release even as he was alerted to supply and manufacturing delays.
All of this comes at a time when Samsung is dominating the marketplace and even if the HTC One can sit side-by-side with the HTC One pound for pound, ultimately it’s the Samsung device that will curry favor. The One has received rave reviews for its design and overall feel against the Galaxy S 4′s more plastic and dare I say, uninspiring hardware design.
The One was never expected to hit Samsung like numbers right from the start, especially not selling 10 million units in the first month. Still, the One may be the company’s great white whale and if it doesn’t succeed, what’s next may be anything but certain.