Over the last week a number of people have been speculating on the future of HTC saying that it is at risk of disappearing. The problem is that having climbed the mountain of volume sales of phones to number three it has failed to ascend to the top and rather has slipped back as a result of poor sales for the flagship HTC One (M9).
The problem for HTC is that the "upgrade" to the M9 was judged by most not to be significant enough from the M8 and so growth stopped.
The creation of the mobile phone mass market was achieved by a few manufacturers who offered a range of handsets. The manufacturers of my early days in mobile are now consigned to museums rather than still major players, Motorola, Erricson and Nokia. But then others older than me will say the same about car manufacturers of the early 20th century and we still have cars.
The global dominance of Nokia was achieved not on a single handset but rather on a platform of devices that were conceived thanks to long term analysis and developed not just internally but also using the skills of the IDEO Group. This meant that both hardware and software evolved dependent on the markets that the handsets were sold in to.
The Android Ecosystem leaves very little room for customisation by manufacturers and contract manufacture means that common components leave devices looking very similar.
The shame is that the early days of HTC saw it make a range of handsets that made use of touch AND keyboard. Why then now are we faced with a single form factor in just two sizes? Perhaps we can expect contract manufacturing will give HTC some space to recover rather than it fail but it is more likely that it will pass into history.