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HTC 10 fails to meet expectations, losses pile up

The HTC 10 is one of the latest high-end Android smartphones to grace the consumer market, and there have been some instances of good news for the company. For one thing, the HTC 10 is a better smartphone than the LG G5 in a number of ways (our review will be out in the coming days), and the 10 has quite a few reasons to prefer it over LG’s most recent flagship. The HTC 10 is even becoming something of a hit in Japan. Yet and still, it is failing to meet expectations for the company and the customer base. A new report from analytics firm TrendForce says that the HTC 10 has only sold about 10 million units and that, even with business from Google for the 2016 Nexus Sailfish and Marlin devices later this year (HTC will make two of the three Nexii), the company’s business will only sell 13 million smartphones — down 27% from 2015. The Taiwanese maker’s profit will decline by an additional 30% this year as well, more insult to injury.

HTC would have to sell 40 million units this year in order to emerge back in the “top 10 manufacturers” circle, which looks very, very unlikely for 2016. The HTC 10 itself features a 5.2-inch, Quad HD Super LCD 3 display, Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 32GB of storage (US customers will only get 32GB, no 64GB model), a 5MP front camera featuring a Samsung camera sensor and OIS (a first for the smartphone market), 12MP back camera with a Sony sensor and OIS. Both cameras have f/1.8 camera apertures, and they both perform significantly better than the LG G5 with its f/1.8 aperture cameras.

With a phone crafted as well as the HTC 10 (it even has splash resistance, not water resistance, and Uh-Oh Protection), what’s not to like? Unfortunately, the chamfered metal edges have become something of a tired design, and the other areas of the smartphone experience are now dominated by Samsung: everything from the cameras, to the display (AMOLED displays are far superior to LCDs, though HTC’s Super LCD display in the HTC 10 is the best-looking LCD screen I’ve seen in my few years of work in the market), and even the design: Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge is the best-designed smartphone on the market, bar-none, in 2016. Even the iPhone looks cheap when compared to it; if HTC’s rival twin doesn’t stand a chance in the looks department, HTC’s well-crafted and beautiful chamfers won’t do, either.

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