I recently picked up an HTC One android smartphone. It looks great, feels great, and runs great; satisfied buyer right here. While researching the phone prior to getting it, I saw it being pit against the Samsung Galaxy S4 many times and for good reason, they are both top of the line smartphones.
While watching an episode of The Vergecast on YouTube, it was discussed which phone would sell more units HTC and their One or Samsung and their S4. While The Verge generally agrees that the HTC One is the better phone of the two, they conceed that Samsung will probably sell many more units than HTC due to their billion dollar advertising budget.
Paul Miller of The Verge, then goes on to say, “I have stood by a thesis for a long time, that great products sell, and bad ones don’t and midling ones can do okay.”
I’m sorry but I vehemently disagree. Apple proved this false many times already. Despite Apple products having grown into their own due to features and iterative value additions throughtout the years, there were many points in time when Apple was at the height of their game and their products were only just so-so compared to their competition. The first iPhone was called a smartphone in 2007, but I merely scoffed at that term because it didn’t have any apps, it couldn’t do MMS, and was missing the biggest powerhouse features such as copy/paste.
I remember thinking, THIS is what people call a smartphone?! while I clutched my Sprint HTC Mogul to my heart (that thing was a beast in terms of looks and functionality )
So what gives? Sure the user interface design was innovative for the time, I’ll give it points there, but the marketing efforts Apple employed were legendary. Steve Jobs was many things, and a great salesman was one of them. When he made product announcements, somehow people were enchanted. The TV commercials were cool, whimsical, and memorable. I believe this is what propelled Apple and their iPod, iPhone and Mac lines throughtout the years.
I don’t currently watch TV, but even having said that, I can recall some Samsung advertisements, HTC? Not so much.
HTC’s ad budget can’t compete with Samsung’s and Samsung already has mindshare with its previous Galaxy lines. Word of mouth and positive endorsements from tech reviewers can only go so far. When millions of American’s sit down, unwind and watch TV after a hard days’ work and see a funny Samsung Ad, they’re reaching potential customers that HTC just isn’t.
So better device versus solid device and ad budget? I’d go with the latter for who will win.