HTC is fighting back with the Desire Eye, a smartphone aimed at users who like taking “selfies” with the front-facing camera. It’s a novel idea. But it begs the question of whether HTC can finally figure out how to stop tripping over its own shoelaces. Even as the Android platform continues to rise overall, the manufacturer has emerged as the proverbial loser of the platform. Samsung gets most of the sales and profits, while HTC sees its arguably superior phones fail to sell and its financial losses pile up.
It’s not for lack of trying. The Desire Eye is a bit of a one trick pony, seemingly targeting those users who still haven’t figured out that megapixels don’t define smartphone camera quality as much as other factors like autofocus and image stabilization. But another HTC phone, the One M8, is the best piece of hardware on the Android platform. You wouldn’t know it from the sales figures, where it’s getting shellacked by the Samsung Galaxy S5. Part of that is that Samsung knows how to market its mediocre phones, while HTC seems to be investing too much resources into developing strong hardware instead. That noble effort hasn’t gotten the company very far to date.
But the Desire Eye does look to tackle the competition where it counts. One of the ways in which Samsung has marketed its phones is by playing up the selfie phenomenon, even going so far as to spend millions to get one taken with a Galaxy phone during the Emmys. Now HTC is looking to position itself as the new Selfie King. But with so much having gone wrong for HTC over the past few years, can the Desire Eye save HTC from itself?