HTC is a Taiwanese electronics company, whose abbreviation previously stood for High Tech Computer Corporation. In its early days, the company mainly made phones that ran Windows Mobile, Android was added in 2009 and since 2010 the company has also focused on Windows Phone devices. Nowadays, the focus is mainly on the production of Android devices.
HTC is a co-founder of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of manufacturers and network operators dedicated to the development of the Android platform. Another interesting thing to know is that the company was the first to market an Android phone, the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1. It showed for the first time what is possible with Google’s mobile operating system.
HTC company profile
HTC was founded in 1997 and initially only made notebooks. In 1998, however, several handhelds were added. The Taiwanese company has an impressive reputation for being the first. It was the first with a Microsoft smartphone (2002) and the first ‘Microsoft 3G phone’ (2005). In addition, the HTC Evo 4G was launched in 2010, the first smartphone with 4G support in the US.
At the Mobile World Congress in 2011, the GSM Association voted HTC Device Manufacturer of the Year. The company’s market value was even higher that year than Nokia’s, making them the world’s number 3, after Apple and Samsung. In the third quarter of 2011, the company was even the largest in the US with 24 percent market share, according to market research firms, ahead of Apple (20%) and Samsung (21%). In 2012, severe financial problems followed as Apple and Samsung began to take control of the smartphone market. A year later, HTC only slowly started to climb back up, mainly thanks to the HTC One.
However, the manufacturer’s market share has suffered a significant dent and has shrunk considerably. In the first quarter of 2013, for example, the manufacturer still had 9.3 percent market share in the US. Today, its market share has shrunk to less than 5 percent. In April 2014, the smartphone manufacturer announced that things are going a bit better and that the sales figures have increased by more than 12 percent. Such a sharp increase last occurred in October 2011.
Sense: HTC’s own Android skin
Just like with almost any other smartphone manufacturer, HTC devices have an Android skin. HTC’s skin is called Sense and was first introduced in 2009. Sense is characterized by its playfulness, from widgets to the settings menu. Although devices can also be provided with a business look through the included themes, Sense is one of the great advantages that many users mention.
Sense 6.0 is similar in functionality to version 5.0, but adds new colors and better effects. The built-in apps have also been updated. HTC Sense is available for nine smartphones, including the HTC One, One Mini and One Max.
Sense 5.0 introduced BlinkFeed for the first time (see screenshot on the right), the social start screen that resembles Windows 8 with its large colored and interactive blocks. Messages from Facebook, Twitter and other news streams are displayed. The latter can come from ANP, internet websites or magazines such as the Quote. If BlinkFeed shows you too much information at once, you can always activate the normal start screen in the settings. The update to version 6.0 gives BlinkFeed an improved new interface and the option to add more news sources.
In addition to an update to BlinkFeed, HTC Sense 6.0 also adds improvements to the interface of the camera, gallery and apps. Also new is the introduction of an ‘extreme power safe mode’. This shuts down all unnecessary applications and information within a device, which saves a lot on battery life. HTC claims that when this mode is enabled, an HTC One M8 with 10 percent battery can achieve a standby time of about 30 hours. The disadvantage of this mode is that many important functions are disabled and you do not have much functionality and options left.