Handset maker HTC is in a lot of trouble. Once an Android leader, its market share is in the tank. Last week, a bunch of insiders talked to Reuters about how CEO Peter Chou is blowing it.
HTC’s biggest problem is that, unlike Samsung, it doesn’t have a huge marketing budget.
But maybe another problem is that it lacks focus.
Evidence: Today on gadget blog The Verge, it’s showing off two new gadgets that seem utterly useless.
The first is something called the HTC Mini+. No joke: it’s basically an accessory that allows you to use your smartphone like a dumphone if you want.
It looks like this:
The HTC Mini+ is also a laser pointer.
The second gadget isn’t quite so silly. It’s a keychain fob that beeps when you leave your phone behind.
That’s handy, but is it something HTC should have invested resources into building itself?
The truth is, on a one-off basis, designing and building these two gadgets probably required a relatively small amount of HTC’s most important resources: time and money.
But, HTC makes lots of these kinds of products. On aggregate, they are a big waste.
The hottest smartphone maker in the world right now is China’s Xiaomi, which makes a really huge deal out of launching a single product: it’s latest phone.
The CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, is often called the Steve Jobs of China.
Certainly, Jun’s product focus is a Jobsian trait.
When Jobs returned to Apple, the first thing he did to fix the company was simplify it’s product offerings.
Famously, he drew two lines on a white board to make a quadrant that looked like this.
If HTC’s Peter Chou wants to save his company and his job, maybe it’s time he found a white board and drew up his own 2×2 or even 1×1 box.