03 Jun HTC – the Company That Did It First
By now you must have heard of the company that is currently in third place as the top seller of smartphones. Their quirky ad campaign with Robert Downey Jr. has made considerable waves, but also the fact that they are within the top 100 best global brands should also have weight. HTC was founded in Taiwan in 1997 and originally they started producing notebook computers and went on from there to build handheld devices. Their revenue is around seven billion US dollars and they employ nearly 17,000 employees worldwide.
Looking back, actually everything that has been contributed to other manufacturing giants, like Apple and Samsung, HTC did it first. Did you know that HTC manufactured the first ever Android phone? As the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance, which is together with Google and a few other handset manufacturers and mobile network operated engaged into further developing the Android platform, HTC risked it all by releasing as the first ever manufacturer an Android OS phone, the HTC Dream. It sold in the US alone over a million times and at that time established Android OS with a 6% market share as the newcomer of the year.
Initial HTC phones and smartphones were based on the Windows Mobile platform, a collaboration that still exists, despite Microsoft now having their own manufacturing in the former Nokia headquarters in Finland. HTC is noted as the first manufacturer to release a Microsoft powered smartphone in 2002, way before there was any iPhones or Samsung phones. If you did not know it, the first iPhone was released by Apple in 2007 and the first Samsung smartphone in 2010. HTC released the previously mentioned HTC Dream in 2008. The first Microsoft 3G phone, manufactured by HTC, was released in 2005.
Now you may think that the iPhone with the touchscreen revolutionised the smartphone business and you would be wrong. In 2000 already HTC released one of the world’s first touchscreen smartphones. HTC also built the first iPAQ for Compaq – now still in charge under the HP helm – and the Palm Treo 650, which both were smartphones and had touchscreens, the former introduced in April of 2000, newer and updated devices still being produced and the latter released in 2004 and available until 2008.
It does not end there, HTC released the first 4G phone in the US in 2010, the HTC Evo 4G. When HTC One M7 got released, the newly designed Beats Electronics loudspeaker system opened the door to never before heard sound quality on handheld devices, without outboard loudspeakers. When selfies became the rage, HTC developed and released the HTC Desire Eye, where both cameras, the front and the back camera were top notch, 13 MP 4k shooters, both with LED flash, both capable of recording 1080p video at 30 fps.
HTC is undoubtedly a handheld manufacturer that has broken barriers and introduced new and exciting technology into the industry. The innovative approach towards excellence and design, great quality and sleek advertising did pay off, HTC is one brand to look out for, even more than Apple, LG, Sony and the others. Samsung got a bit of an Edge right now with the curved display, but there is still not a single smartphone, which comes to the sound of an HTC One, not even close.