HTC Bolt, the Sprint-exclusive device, was announced a few weeks ago. Thanks to Sprint’s LTE Plus network, the smartphone can reach very fast download speeds of up to 450 million bits per second. But is speed enough to consumers users to buy?
The Bolt, named after the fastest man on earth — Usain Bolt — is clearly targeted at users looking for a snappy Android experience. At least in terms of download speeds, with HTC telling Forbes that “network speeds, not the processor, are the most common speed bump”. This is notable because the HTC Bolt uses the ageing —and much maligned — Snapdragon 810 chipset.
But according to Forbes, the Taiwanese manufacturer is setting itself up for failure. Citing market analysts, Forbes doubts the Bolt will be able to increase HTC’s market share, for rather obvious reasons: it doesn’t provide what users want.
IDC did a survey across the Asian continent earlier this year asking people what the most important factor for them was when looking for a new smartphone. The data shows that both download speed and processor speed are simply not a priority for most consumers. Users (at least in Asia) care more about the screen size and the brand than they do about speed.
Price also plays an important role when buying a new smartphone. And with the Bolt retailing for 600 bucks, analysts believe that it is overpriced. Eddie Han, an analyst with the research organization Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute in Taipei said, “To our knowledge, owing to the relatively high price tag, the HTC Bolt is not going to have high levels of shipments.”
Owing to the relatively high price tag, the HTC Bolt is not going to have high levels of shipments.
The fact that HTC has used the older Snapdragon 810 processor in the Bolt won’t help it boost sales either. Even though the company highlighted the importance of network speed over processor speed, it’s still hard to sell a year-old chipset as anything other than a year-old chipset. Especially when the device it’s in has a very contemporary price tag.
If Forbes is right, the HTC Bolt won’t propel HTC across the finish line like its namesake, which means even more trouble for the already-struggling manufacturer. Market analysts may think that HTC should focus on other factors than speed when marketing their devices and lower their prices at the same time, but what do you think?
What is your top priority when buying a new smartphone? Is is the brand, design, camera…?