HTC is effectively betting the company on their forthcoming HTC One smartphone and are doing everything they can to ensure it’s a success, including making a unique tool to make the move from iPhone to HTC One a breeze.
HTC has in recent times faced an uphill battle competing with Samsung who have grown to become the dominant player in the Android smartphone market. Both HTC and Google owned Motorola are preparing their attack on Samsung’s marketshare by making single new devices designed to have the mass appeal that could once again make the Android market more competitive. A risky strategy, but one that needs to pay off it smartphones are to avoid becoming an Apple-Samsung duopoly.
Most buyers of the HTC One will likely be either existing Android users or new smartphone buyers, whose number in Britain and other Western countries is falling as smartphones become ubiquitous. Porting over data from iPhone to Android has always presented difficulties, meaning that consumers have more than familiarity with their current platform to prevent them from switching. While no one can port the apps you’ve paid for over, HTC has put in extra effort to attract Apple customers to their phone by upgrading their Sync Manager software to be able to import data other Android devices can’t.
Importantly this means data such as text messages, photos and videos and calendars can be transferred over in addition to contacts and music from iTunes which already is transferrable.
Gradually the process of being able to switch platform has become easier for other reasons too. More people are using streaming music services like Spotify, Rdio and Deezer instead of iTunes, which means that their music is no longer tied to software that only works on iPhones. And more apps are either running off a subscription model, meaning they’re free to download on both platforms, or are browser based like the Financial Times app. This has freed users up from feeling they are losing their investment in apps that only work on one platform.
The HTC One will bring a new experience to iPhone users in the form of its ‘BlinkFeed’ which arguably sets the tone for how smartphone user interfaces will evolve. BlinkFeed works a bit like the homepage of Windows 8 computers, but on steroids. You’ll see updates from your friends across platforms displayed alongside content relevant to you from sources you visit. So it might display both photos of what your friends were up to last night next to the latest blog post from a site you frequently visit. It’s a rather pleasant refresh of how smartphones operate, perhaps prompted by Microsoft’s Windows Phone ‘metro’ style, and will make old Android and iOS app based grids look a bit stale by comparison.
The HTC One is already available for pre-orders, although we’d recommend waiting to see how the press reacts to the device when they get their hands on it before jumping in. As we all know from the launch of iPhone 4 problems can sometimes come to light only after launch.