HTC Disappears from Canadian Mobile Market

by Matt Klassen on February 16, 2016

htc-quietly-quietOh HTC, where art thou? It wasn’t that long ago that Canadian carriers were absolutely in love with HTC products, with Rogers, Telus and Bell at times fighting over distribution rights to the Taiwanese company’s smartphone line-up. In fact, HTC seemed to be the diamond in the rough of the Android world (at least here north of the border), offering well-equipped devices at virtually every price point.

But with several successive smartphone flops, the HTC brand has taken a hit here in Canada, and suddenly the company’s smartphones have gone from the darlings of this northern market, to forgotten altogether.

In fact, a cursory search of Canada’s major carriers reveals no HTC products at all, with only some past iterations of once popular phones available through Canadian budget brands Koodo and Virgin Mobile. Couple this diminishing presence with the company’s rising quarterly losses, and we may be witnessing HTC in its final days, unless the Taiwanese company has its way of course.

When HTC released its most recent smartphone, the One A9, in fall last year, it came with the expectation that it would once again meet a real need within the Canadian market, offering reasonable features at a reasonable price. More to the point, with a weakened Canadian dollar, it seemed once again that HTC had produced a competitive phone that hit all the right buttons for this market. Yet the lucrative holiday buying season came and went, and nothing was said about HTC and no phone was offered.

Although done very quietly and gradually, I can’t say I’m overly surprised about the removal of HTC products from the catalogues of Canadian carriers, as the Taiwanese company is simply the latest victim of carriers consolidating their smartphone offerings into a small handful of sure-fire products. In fact, search through the phones offered by any Canadian carrier and you’ll find that gone are the pages and pages of different devices we’ve always had to choose from.

As MobileSyrup writer Daniel Bader writes, “Canadian carriers are looking to simplify their product line-ups, and with a number of devices from companies like Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola and, increasingly, ZTE and Huawei, there may be no room left for outliers like HTC.”

Now of course HTC would like to think rumours of its demise have been greatly exaggerated, as the company is working furiously to transition into wearables to round out its mobile brand. But while anecdotal evidence suggests that Canada has long been a haven for HTC, the once boisterous hype surrounding this brand has been replaced with absolute silence, and when no one is talking about your brand, it might as well be dead already.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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