HTC locked out of Windows 8 tablet party
If your name's not down you're not getting in
HTC has been declined an invitation to the Windows 8 party after Microsoft apparently refused its tablet development team access to the forthcoming operating system, in yet another body blow to the ailing hardware firm.
Redmond made the decision based on the fact that HTC doesn’t sell enough tablets or have enough experience in the space, “people with knowledge of the matter” told Bloomberg.
HTC is having a tough time of it lately and could probably do with the extra revenue Windows 8-powered tablets could provide.
It has posted a string of poor financials, with Q1 net profits tumbling 70 per cent year-on-year, and has been forced to revise down its second quarter forecast significantly thanks to weakened demand from Europe.
Revenues for the period are expected to be NT$91bn (£1.9bn), a whopping 13.3 per cent lower than the NT$105bn it forecast in April, while operating margin predictions were also reduced from 11 per cent to 9 per cent.
Analysts don’t seem to be too bothered about Microsoft’s cold shoulder, however.
“It’s no big deal,” IDC analyst Melissa Chau told The Reg.
“RIM found tablets a big distraction while it was trying to improve its phone business and I feel the same way about HTC.”
The Taiwanese firm would do better to focus on its brand and smartphones in what is a tough market, she added.
“I don’t see this will impact HTC’s success. It is a very consumer targeted brand and people are looking at Windows 8 as an enterprise solution so even if it’s excluded that’s not HTC’s target market,” said Chau.
To be fair, sales of HTC’s Android-based Flyer tablet have been poor and it has been distracted with legal battles with Apple. Given its financial position, the firm could probably do with putting all of its efforts into sharpening its brand by streamlining its product portfolio.
Microsoft's stance is also noteworthy: after courting almost anyone capable of installing Windows Phone on a wireless handset, Redmond may be showing us it is willing to be a little more selective and/or confident this time around. ®
'People are looking at Windows 8 as an enterprise solution'
Once it sheds Metro maybe, until then, I don't think *anyone* is looking at Windows 8
Another nail in the Microsoft coffin
Maybe a blessing in disguise here? I have asked many people and even amongst Microsoft fans I have yet to find even one person who is interested in windows 8 even on tablets. Granted things might change once its released but who would bet on it given the lack of interest in windows phone 7? Throw in the fact that I believe Microsoft are planning on burning yet another phone platform and annoying what few people actually plumped for windows phone 7.
> the fact that HTC doesn’t sell enough tablets
I would have thought that HTC currently makes more tablets than Nokia, especially the 7" to 10.x" range*.
I suspect that the real problem is that HTC don't sell enough WP7 phones. That is probably because Nokia have taken all the WP7 market. In January Nokia claimed it had sold a million WP7 phones and had taken 33% of the WP7 market. Then after Q1 it said it had sold (though probably shipped) 2 million. If that was now 66% of the WP7 market then it was at the expense of HTC, LG, etc. No wonder LG stopped making WP7 and said sales were trivial.
Also MS has no leverage over HTC. MS can control HP (enough to dump WebOS), Dell, etc because it can remove 'discounts' on all PCs.
With Samsung and Sony, maybe not so much.
* Nokia had the N770, N800, N810, N900 and the N950 was ready but was canned because it wasn't Windows.
Blessing in disguise
most people who want a tablet want an iPad, most of those that don't will want a $200 Nexus 7 tablet or similar or a Kindle Fire. Tough to see how Win 8 will carve out a meaningful market share in the tablet market.
MS seems to think people want a unified OS across their computer and phone and tablet. Not sure that's true - most iPad owners use PCs not Macs. I use Win 7 on my laptop and Android on my phone and will go for a Nexus 7 when it arrives.
Horses for courses.