HTC’s CEO, Peter Chou, will resign if the One fails to become a hit

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 21 Mar 2013

Dear HTC: What happened? You made the very first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1. You also launched the first Nexus device, the Nexus One. But then Samsung came out of nowhere and ate your lunch. You released the Sensation in 2011, but no one cared since the Galaxy S II was that much better. Then you released the One X in 2012, but you forgot to tell anyone about it, so no one actually bought one.

The first quarter of 2013 is almost over, and your new One looks impressive, but The Wall Street Journal says it’s been delayed. To be specific, they say you’re having trouble securing camera components and metal casings. Ironically, those are the only two things that make your phone different from Samsung’s GS4.

And now there’s this:

In a meeting in late 2012, Mr. Chou told senior executives he would step down if the new smartphone doesn’t succeed, according to people familiar with the situation.

Here’s what I think your problem is: You’re overweight. Just admit it, your organization is too large. You buy chips from Qualcomm, screens from Sharp and JDI, and Google writes your operating system for you. Why then do you hire an army of engineers to make Android look different when you could instead be pouring that money into marketing or better components and factories?

You’re the little kid playing with LEGO blocks in the school’s sandbox while everyone else around you is growing up and playing competitive sports. LG makes their own components. Sony makes their own components. Huawei is starting to get into the component business. Apple buys tools so their suppliers can make their components. I can go on if you’d like.

If you want to get back in shape, then you have to trim some fat. It’s time to recognize what you do well, hardware, and stop bleeding yourself dry trying to make Android look different. Then when you’re healthy, start looking into working together with some of the fantastic companies in your home country of Taiwan. There’s MediaTek, TSMC, UMC, and many others.

What you’re doing now, focusing on Sense, doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

[Image Credit: Bloomberg]