Morgan Stanley have poo pooed HTC's aspirations to boost its smartphone sales with the launch of new handsets sporting the Windows Phone 8 operating system. On Friday Jason Mackenzie, HTC's president of sales and marketing, spoke to Reuters and said “Our plan is to go big on Windows 8”. However in tomorrow’s Taipei Times Jasmine Lu of Morgan Stanley says that “…we think it will be difficult for HTC to regain share quickly aided by Windows 8-based smartphones, given less differentiation, except pricing.”
Taiwan based HTC currently makes most of its money from Android based handsets, though it has dabbled in Windows Phone before. HTC’s Jason Mackenzie said that other smartphone makers who also produce Android devices “haven't typically given their A plus designs to Windows phones.” He explained that “They've been designating those to Android”. However he added cautiously, that while seeking a more balanced portfolio of Android and WP8 devices the company would not “dial back on Android”.
HTC really does need to do something to pick itself up as evidenced by the Q2 results showing profits falling by more than half and a Q3 projection of a decline in revenue by about 23 per cent. Mr Mackenzie said to Reuters that, in his opinion, the solution is being “more bold”.
Jasmine Lu of Morgan Stanley, Hong Kong, seems to agree that HTC need to be more bold because at present the only way she sees that it can successfully differentiate is through pricing. In a research note she said “In terms of hardware specifications, we think it will be difficult for HTC to regain share quickly aided by Windows 8-based smartphones given less differentiation except pricing. We think the winning formula has shifted from technology to scale, marketing and branding” according to the Taipei Times.
Looking at projections for 2013 and how the smartphone market will be change, market analysts Gartner forecasts that the Android OS will slide from 60.3 to 57.9 per cent, iOS will increase from 22 to 23.1 per cent and Windows Phone sales will more than double from 3.9 to 10.4 per cent.
Are the first set of HTC Windows Phone 8 devices, pictured above, bold enough? If not they'll just have to be cheaper!