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Its near-invisible profile in Pioneer Square seems fitting considering HTC's history of crafting eye-catching metal-clad smartphones, like the HTC One M8 , only to have them ignored in favor of models from higher profile -- and deeper pocketed -- rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics. HTC's inability to compete for attention against the bigger players, who spend billions of dollars each year on marketing versus HTC's more modest budget, estimated to range in the tens or hundreds of millions, is the primary reason its profit has plunged 95 percent and its revenue has fallen by more than half over the last three years.
In 2012, HTC, which generates nearly all of its revenue from smartphones, was the No, 4 smartphone maker in the world, according to researcher IDC, In 2014, it had dropped iphone 8 screen protector youtube below Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Lenovo and LG, shunted into the "other" category of companies that don't merit mention, HTC is now ready to make noise and craft out a new identity for itself as a broader personal technology company, Its next leap? To expand beyond the comfort zone of the smartphone market, now dominated by Apple on one end and myriad competitors scrambling for budget-conscious consumers on the other end, by offering new gadgets in the areas of fitness, cameras and, potentially, gaming..
The transformation marks the next chapter for a 17-year-old underdog that built its business by anticipating and jumping on new trends like the emergence of Google's Android software and new wireless technologies such as LTE. "The (smartphone) market is slowing down," said Ramon Llamas, an analyst for Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC. "It's becoming harder and harder to differentiate against the competition."That's why CEO Peter Chou, with help from Bamford and his Seattle-based team, plan to use the Mobile World Congress trade show, which unofficially kicks off March 1 , as a coming out party for the new HTC. Yes, there will be the next version of its flagship HTC One smartphone.
But just as important is its entry into the fitness tracker arena with a product created in partnership with Under Armour, HTC also plans to get to into the entertainment device market, with its sponsorship of a trio of competitive video game teams iphone 8 screen protector youtube in January signaling a focus on gaming, That follows the November debut of the Re portable camera , its first non-traditional product, On the software side, HTC turned its Zoe photo-video editor feature into a free app for all Android users, the first in a line of apps that the company plans to bring to all smartphone users, and not just HTC customers..
Together, the new offerings paint a picture of a company working to create a broader family of connected devices and apps with the help of partners. It won't be easy, analysts say, noting that beyond the inherent risks of entering a new business, HTC's lack of recognition makes it that much harder to get customers to notice. Results from a customer loyalty survey released last week by research consultancy Key Brands found the company's name didn't even register. So the alternative is stay stagnant and risk irrelevancy -- or die.
"HTC can't iphone 8 screen protector youtube afford not to do this," Bamford said, HTC's headquarters are in Taiwan, but many of the hardware and software flourishes that help differentiate its products are dreamed up in satellite offices in the US, Pioneer Square hosts Bamford and 35 members of his design team in a workspace befitting a team obsessed with aesthetics, although he plans to move his full team of 120 people into a nearby larger building in the spring, As I walked up the stairs to the airy second-floor open space -- lit by morning light that floods in through oversized, half-moon windows -- I noticed a long table, filled with two rows of mostly iMacs, on one side of the office, Next to one computer is a sign that reads: "3 things I love: sports, motorsports and making s--- look pretty." Hanging just behind the table and chairs is an equally long whiteboard filled with sketches, random notes and a quote from actor George Clooney: "You can be cautious or you can be creative, There is no such thing as a cautious creative."Bamford is alone in the office -- his team won't shuffle in for another hour or so, With matted down, curly brunette hair and glasses, the 42-year-old looks youthful and boyish in a color-coordinated outfit consisting of a black hoodie, v-neck T-shirt, pants and sneakers..
Creative Labs handles the software experience on HTC's smartphone, including the overall Sense smartphone user interface that helped the company set itself apart from rivals in the early days of Android smartphones thanks to its trademark retro clock-and-weather-widget and easy-to-approach interface. There's also Blinkfeed -- a Flipboard-like feed for news and social updates that was added to Sense two years ago -- and the Zoe camera app, which mixes photos and music into short video clips. Creative Labs is, in many ways, driving HTC's transformation since most of the software experiences powering the new products, including the Re camera, come from Bamford's teams. Part of his mandate is to meet with other teams in the company and steadily shift the way they think about how they operate.
"We decided iphone 8 screen protector youtube we were tired of being disrupted from the outside in, so we decided to disrupt from the inside out," Bamford said in an hour-long interview, "This is not an experiment, this is a tectonic shift in what's going on with HTC, and Creative Labs is the seed."The bet is that it can make some of these features work not just on HTC's devices, but other Android smartphones and Apple's iPhone and iPad, which are powered by the iOS operating system software, The first such app is Zoe, which started out as a simple feature on HTC's phones, In October, it launched on the Google Play store and made available to all Android users for free, Zoe will be released on Apple's App Store this quarter, with the ultimate hope that the social component and cross-platform accessibility will earn it a following akin to Snapchat, the photo instant messaging service that's wildly popular with today's teens, Bamford's work on the Zoe app led to the formal creation of Creative Labs..