Rating: Consumers struggle to differentiate amongst models
Reading between the lines of recent UK research carried out by YouGov, HTC is rapidly losing its mantle as the brand of choice amongst Android smartphone lovers. According to Russell Feldman, associate director in YouGov’s telecoms and technology team, “HTC has long been falling out of the rat race. Our research also found a small number of HTC owners considered their make and model of HTC before purchasing it – significantly lower consideration rates compared to rival brands – a worrying sign.” Who is benefitting? Answer – Samsung. “The [Samsung] brand is now the Android future choice of destination with high loyalty, consideration and expectation rates increasing year-on-year,” says YouGov.These findings emerged from YouGov’s quarterly Smartphone, Mobile Internet eXperience tracker (SMIX) survey of 3,985 nationally representative British adults and 1,936 targeted smartphone owners.
SMIX revealed a fall in consideration and expectation levels for HTC amongst smartphone owners; an indication that the brand needs to seriously look at the way it markets its devices in order to win back consumers and compete with market-leader Apple and rising threat Samsung.
YouGov found future HTC consideration levels fell to just 30 per cent in June 2012 – a drop from 42 per cent in June 2011.
In the same period, expectation levels for the phone manufacturer also fell – from 16 per cent to 9 per cent.
The most interesting conclusion from YouGov is the inability amongst consumers to differentiate between handsets.
For example, HTC launched the ‘Sensation’; ‘Sensation XE’ and ‘Sensation XL’. Furthermore, HTC has decided to continue this strategy with its new ‘One’ range.
By contrast, Samsung has had a great year with the ‘Galaxy’ in particular – which has proved popular amongst consumers and the smartphone industry alike, YouGov says.
The worst news is that although HTC retains 34 per cent of its loyal customers, the majority (66 per cent) of HTC customers will not get a HTC again but will churn elsewhere – Samsung being the smartphone of choice.
Feldman believes that HTC needs to re-evaluate, “Marketing and advertising, as well as branding – in order to re-tempt churners and win new custom.”
GoMobile News would add its tuppenworth and say that Motorola is the biggest loser here.
The RAZR is a truly excellent Android device with a fantastic screen. Yet everyone who has seen us use it thinks it is either an HTC or a Samsung Galaxy.
Like HTC, Motorola needs to do more work on its brand.