HTC has problems. The company is not selling enough Android phones and gets buried among the vast amount of Android phones on offer from different vendors. As I’ve stated earlier, I like HTC phones (most of them), I even like the Sense Android skin. The Sense originates from the Windows Mobile 6.xx days and the early days of Android. Sense brought consistency between the product lines and made early Android and WM 6.x good looking and more usable. Nowadays, Android is nice looking and usable and HTC isn’t allowed to apply Sense on its Windows Phone 7 phones. It’s time to say goodbye to Sense.
- HTC would have the best differentiator of all Android vendors - the pure Android experience.
- Most users would be better of with pure Android and it would be easier to upgrade HTC phones to the latest Android version.
- HTC would get tons and tons of free, positive marketing in tech press and in the Android community. Every review of an HTC Android phone would be a little bit more positive. Most often, tech reviewers don’t like (hate) Android skins.
- The company would cut R&D and maintenance costs. This tactic would save money from day one.
- Allow network operators to add pre-installed apps (preferable delete-able). They are the ones promoting, subsidising and selling the phones. Don’t mess with them (too much).
- Don’t worry about the Sense team. They’re very talented and will find new jobs. As I said, they almost made Windows 6.x usable.
So HTC, now do it. One thing though. This pure Android opportunity may well be filled by Motorola/Google themselves. It makes this tactic a little less brilliant, but it’s still solid IMHO. Samsung, Sony and LG are too big headed to use this tactic across the board, they will stick with their skins.