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Thread: How to solve the problem of bad HTC selection in the US?

  1. #1
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    How to solve the problem of bad HTC selection in the US?

    Like many of you out there, I've been on a rollercoaster ride of emotion with each new HTC release. You know, the first tinge of excitement as you learn about the latest leak of the next HTC device, the cool codename, and the rumored specs with a tentative (or speculative) release date that is about one to two fiscal quarters away. As each week passes, more details are leaked, and the rumors start flying as to whether or not a US 3G version will be available. As you get closer to the release date, you inevitably learn that the new device you've been lusting after will NOT be released with US 3G (or at the very least, on T-Mobile's 1700 band). Your heart sinks. You're still stuck with your current device.

    If it's up to the carriers to decide whether or not to order these devices from HTC with US 3G bands, then how do we as customers get them to listen to us? I've personally tried calling into customer care, writing emails, but I really doubt that it does any good. Are there really that few of us out there that want a good WM device? Are the majority of people really satisfied with Samsungs and Sidekicks? I just can't believe that (based on, if nothing else, the sheer number of people that bought an iPhone). I can understand why AT&T wouldn't want to cannibalize sales of the iPhone, but what about T-Mobile? Why do they only have the G1? Before anyone mentions the Touch Pro 2, all I can say is that we still don't know for certain that it's coming with US 3G bands. All we know is that the firmware hints at it. So how do we convince T-Mobile and AT&T to start bringing HTC's newest and brightest?

    Can any industry insiders give their perspectives on this?
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    Just keep doing what you're doing: calling and e-mailing, buying HTC products, and most importantly: getting your friends and family to buy HTC products.

    HTC's challenge in the US is distribution, since the channel is dominated by the mobile operators. The mobile operators have finite shelf space and resources, so they need to make judgment calls: stock the Samsung Instinct with an immediately and widely recognizable brand plus a significant co-marketing commitment from Samsung, or stock the HTC Touch HD with a tiny but growing brand (among mainstream consumers) and very limited co-marketing dollars. The answer is obvious: choose Samsung.

    The more HTC builds its brand in the US, however, the more operators will clamor to get its latest and greatest devices. And brand building doesn't happen through magic, it happens through you, me, and everyone else taking notice and promoting it to everyone else we know.

    Are there really that few of us out there that want a good WM device? I wouldn't say that: Microsoft is selling quite a lot of licenses. But let's face it: the Windows Mobile brand isn't currently what it could be in the US. Most of my classmates here at UC Berkeley perceive Windows Mobile as clunky and unstable. Several of my professors have openly derided it during class. It's a big issue, and for these people, perception is reality. So yes, people really think they are satisfied with their Samsungs and SideKicks -- or, more to the point, their iPhones and BlackBerrys. And the operators are hearing this, too. Hopefully 6.5 and beyond will begin changing this perception.

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    I think this is an appropriate discussion for the main forum. Bumping it there...

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    Urban, thanks for your perspective on this. Everything you said makes sense.

    What I don't understand (and where I'm coming from) is why either MS or the individual manufacturers (i.e. HTC) don't invest more in building the brand as opposed to waiting for consumers to do it through word of mouth. If they were able to entice the carriers to push these devices on consumers the way Apple seems to be able to dazzle their customers, then there would be a lot more desire for WM. I know people who are not HoFo "geeks" at all who got their hands on devices like the AT&T Tilt. They seemed to really like it, too. My point is they never would have known about the Tilt had AT&T not offered it. They certainly wouldn't have bought an unbranded one for $750+ from a reseller.

    If HTC was able to sell T-Mobile on devices like the Touch HD or Touch Pro 2 (assuming the rumors aren't true) and convince T-Mo to get behind them like they did with the mediocre G1, then I believe that there would be more desire for them. I mean, the only reason we HoFoers are into these devices is because we are dazzled by the features and their functionality. We're just like anyone else. I think MS and HTC need to be more like Apple in their marketing efforts.

    I don't know, my $0.02...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Strata
    Most of my classmates here at UC Berkeley perceive Windows Mobile as clunky and unstable. Several of my professors have openly derided it during class. .

    Knowing Berzerkley, that doesn't suprise me The cult of Apple is strong in that place, among other things

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    ALL I WANT IS A U.S. 3G TOUCH HD!

    That's it. Please HTC please. I will get on my knees and beg...

    No dice. Looks like I'll have to settle for the Acer F900. I'd be OK with that if it had a rubberized finish but it doesn't. Hopefully some good cases will come out.

    Here's the crappy thing IMHO. When HTC was young and was still selling their phones to the carriers here in the States(TyTN, TyTNII) they included all the bands. Why for some reason they are dropping bands now is beyond me. Did the carriers not require it then?

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    I would have to say yes it's the carriers. They don't want anyone to buy a phone tha they are selling from anyone but them IMO. Even if they wanted to strength themselves in NA through BB which is a good idea, but BB slls hese phone at such a high cost, that it turns people off from them. It's like they're trying to kill themselves in the NA market. Like Juice said they use to be one of the only makers including all of the bands to make the device work. Now it's only quad EDGE, which sucks bi time imo. It' also WM IMO, i use to love WM to no end, but they just stopped inovating, and WM became really slow, and boring to me. Don't get me wrong i still think it's the smartest OS out there. It just really needs a make over from the ground up.

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    Interesting. So you guys are saying it's the carriers who are requiring HTC to not include 3G bands on their unbranded devices in order to not compete with the branded ones? If that is the case, then the carriers obviously think a device like the Touch HD might be competitive. Given that, why wouldn't the carriers then release that device as branded? Perhaps HTC's sales force isn't doing enough to convince the carriers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Topas
    Interesting. So you guys are saying it's the carriers who are requiring HTC to not include 3G bands on their unbranded devices in order to not compete with the branded ones? If that is the case, then the carriers obviously think a device like the Touch HD might be competitive. Given that, why wouldn't the carriers then release that device as branded? Perhaps HTC's sales force isn't doing enough to convince the carriers?
    I agree with you. The Touch HD is one of the best WinMo devices to ever be released. Why the heck doesn't ATT offer it. They have offered many WinMo Pro devices in the past and must obviously think customers want it. Why not sell one of the best WinMo devices ever? One word.

    iPhone

    They must be too similar in ATT's eyes... Or maybe as you said HTC isn't pushing it. But that I find a little hard to believe. But Tmobile could have got it I guess but maybe they didn't want to steal the G1's thunder.

    All I know is I'm seriously ticked off.

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    I What A Update to the touch Dual. A front-facing slider withs 40 key keyboard form HTC, With US 3G bands that run windows mobile. What else do i want in it a kick butt camara and Wvga Screen and most of all battery life like i get on a epix if i want to i can run that baby for 2-days stright on high usage. I Know HTC can do it, I Just want them to get it done.

    Maybe the only way we will ever get the phones that we want if att or t-mobile (god help us) decide to move the 3G bands to 900 and /or the 2100 bands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juiceppc
    I agree with you. The Touch HD is one of the best WinMo devices to ever be released. Why the heck doesn't ATT offer it. They have offered many WinMo Pro devices in the past and must obviously think customers want it. Why not sell one of the best WinMo devices ever? One word.

    iPhone
    Of course it was the iPhone, or more accurately, the huge revenue sharing deal between AT&T and Apple on the iPhone that prevented the Touch HD from coming to AT&T.

    This is the reason why I have little faith that the Touch Pro2 won't be crippled when it comes to AT&T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwboston
    Of course it was the iPhone, or more accurately, the huge revenue sharing deal between AT&T and Apple on the iPhone that prevented the Touch HD from coming to AT&T.

    This is the reason why I have little faith that the Touch Pro2 won't be crippled when it comes to AT&T.
    As an AT&T customer this is a huge concern of mine. That they will do whatever they can to protect the almighty iPhone.

    Of course at the end of the day. I would be happy with HTC just given us the same love on all phones with or without AT&T.

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    Be thankful. The US is probably the cheapest place ever to buy an HTC. In Asia, including Taiwan where they are made, they are often sold unsubsidized though unlocked as GSM/HSPA phones. The prices of these phones can often times be higher than Nokia's best, thanks in part because HTC has to pay a license to Microsoft.

    The fact is, a phone is expensive because of all the licensing. Worst enough that Qualcomm has a tax on it, add Microsoft to it too. So the US carrier has to sell you the item at a serious loss, in return for a contract. The amount of loss they have to subsidize is higher than lets say a Samsung or LG with a proprietary OS. The carriers have to pick carefully and pick only what they feel are the sure winners out from your Asian phone lineup. After that, they want to request mods to improve and customize the device to match the carrier's services. Thus the HTC phones will have to convert from Asian (2100) to US bands (850), or from HSPA to EV-DO. Often the mods come with improvements, like the increase of battery size in the Diamond from 950mah to 1340mah. I can't imagine if American HTCs are ever crippled; for the most part they are often enhanced in different ways over their Asian counterparts.

    T-Mobile appears to be getting some HTC devices soon enough: Magic, Wing, and Shadow II. The HTC Snap is clearly headed to the US, as it appears in the US HTC web page. the question is who is the carrier.

    Unfortunately the Touch HD, like the Touch 3G, will never be carrier subsidized and has to be imported via GSM unlocked version. The Touch HD itself is far from a perfect device. Due to having the Diamond's graphic system---a way of making the device cheaper---it doesn't make use of the full screen to run videos.

    Asia maybe the place where nearly 100% of Windows Mobile phones are made---Taiwan, China and South Korea. But guess what, the penetration rate of Symbian is so high, at least 60 to 75% of the phones that can be considered smartphones, that you will rarely find anyone using Windows Mobile there, in a sense, much less than the US. Much of the phones they use for their own consumption, not export, tend to be Symbian, proprietary, or some form of Linux.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drillbit
    Be thankful. The US is probably the cheapest place ever to buy an HTC. In Asia, including Taiwan where they are made, they are often sold unsubsidized though unlocked as GSM/HSPA phones. The prices of these phones can often times be higher than Nokia's best, thanks in part because HTC has to pay a license to Microsoft.

    The fact is, a phone is expensive because of all the licensing. Worst enough that Qualcomm has a tax on it, add Microsoft to it too. So the US carrier has to sell you the item at a serious loss, in return for a contract. The amount of loss they have to subsidize is higher than lets say a Samsung or LG with a proprietary OS. The carriers have to pick carefully and pick only what they feel are the sure winners out from your Asian phone lineup. After that, they want to request mods to improve and customize the device to match the carrier's services. Thus the HTC phones will have to convert from Asian (2100) to US bands (850), or from HSPA to EV-DO. Often the mods come with improvements, like the increase of battery size in the Diamond from 950mah to 1340mah. I can't imagine if American HTCs are ever crippled; for the most part they are often enhanced in different ways over their Asian counterparts.

    T-Mobile appears to be getting some HTC devices soon enough: Magic, Wing, and Shadow II. The HTC Snap is clearly headed to the US, as it appears in the US HTC web page. the question is who is the carrier.

    Unfortunately the Touch HD, like the Touch 3G, will never be carrier subsidized and has to be imported via GSM unlocked version. The Touch HD itself is far from a perfect device. Due to having the Diamond's graphic system---a way of making the device cheaper---it doesn't make use of the full screen to run videos.

    Asia maybe the place where nearly 100% of Windows Mobile phones are made---Taiwan, China and South Korea. But guess what, the penetration rate of Symbian is so high, at least 60 to 75% of the phones that can be considered smartphones, that you will rarely find anyone using Windows Mobile there, in a sense, much less than the US. Much of the phones they use for their own consumption, not export, tend to be Symbian, proprietary, or some form of Linux.
    I totally get your point, but I think you may have missed mine. (no offense)

    The fact is, aside from a few offerings (such as the T-Mobile Wing or Dash), there has been a dearth of subsidized HTC devices from the carrier. What is there to be thankful for? Those high prices you mentioned that Asians have to pay, I had to pay as well to get an unbranded HTC device. The main point of my thread was to not only point out that US carriers (specifically T-Mobile) are lacking in good HTC devices, but also to find out the reasons why. So far it doesn't look like there are any, except for the carriers' perceptions that there is a lack of demand for them from the customers. You would think that the iPhone paved the way for T-Mobile and AT&T to start releasing smartphones to this new market. In fact, before the iPhone, AT&T did cater to us with smart devices. It was only post-iPhone that they had to restrict their offerings in order to not compete with the iPhone. However, T-Mobile foolishly put all of their eggs in one basket known as the G1 and tried to position it head-to-head with the iPhone. I firmly believe that it would have been better to offer a range of smart devices to compete with the iPhone. Of course, I don't really know what goes on behind the scenes with regards to minimum # of units required for order, COGS for the devices, etc. and was hoping an industry player could chime in.

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    What else gets me is that HTC won't sell an unlocked device with U.S. bands because supposedly the carriers(ATT/Tmo) won't buy in bulk if they do. Well what about the unlocked devices that HTC sells with Euro/Asia bands? Do those Euro/Asia carriers decline to buy in bulk?

    BS!!!

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