Some people are buying HTC smartphones just for the Sense UI and the improved experience it brings to Android devices. The Sense started years ago as TouchFlo, and evolved, along with Android, to be called Sense UI.
Besides the Sense UI, HTC still has a lot to offer, good designs, nice hardware, yet it seems like the company that started as a manufacturer of Palm, HP and Sony Ericsson smartphones (the Palm Treo 650 and the iPAQ were created by HTC), evolved into the Windows Mobile world, and then started to shine with its' own brand leading the Android industry, is kind of stuck.
I just finished reading a well written opinion by GigaOM's Kevin C. Tofel writing about HTC's start continues to fall, and here's something I couldn't agree more with:
"While HTC does build great hardware, most handsets are subtle variations on a theme. Instead of making a great flagship phone every six to 12 months — a strategy that works well for both Apple and Samsung — HTC is continuously churning out bland designs that vary little from phones just a month prior. Doing so waters down the brand; something Nokia may have faced with the dozens of Symbian handsets it used to offer."
So while Apple is going what it knows best, Samsung is reacting with some gigantic models and a strong brand (Galaxy), Motorola is pushing the Droid, HTC seems to be stuck with… well, endless models, too short lifecycle, a lack of one famous model people will speak about, and… Sense UI. Sense UI, with all the respect I have for usability, is nothing more than a features rich homescreen replacement, like many others in Android Market.
HTC is still playing in the Windows Phone 7 market, but this platform is not yet generating serious revenues comparing to Android (Here's why). HTC recently purchased Dr. DRE's Beats company and embedded the Beats technology in some of the new devices, but that didn't seem to impress anyone either…
Now that momentum is becoming negative and the stock is going down, HTC, the world's fourth-biggest smartphone brand, will have to come up with a solution, and fast. Unlike RIM, or HP, I actually think we are about to see some new innovations from HTC real soon.