The phones, I implored HTC to make 6 months ago, are finally here does that mean they're safe, though?
I begged them to do so based on an analysis of the trends (then) observable in the growth markets as you can see here. Back then, +Sameer Singh was among the very few who acknowledge these markets as growth engines. At the time, most were still addressing them as simply less developed markets. http://goo.gl/0uBOEQThe specsDesire 816
5.5 inch HD (1280×720) display
1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU
13 Megapixel main camera, 5 MP front facing camera
8GB internal memory with MicroSD card support for an additional 64GB
Dimensions: 156.6 x 78.7 x 7.99 mm
Dual front stereo speakers with built in amplifiersDesire 610
4.7 inch qHD (960×540) display
1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU
8 Megapixel rear camera, 1.3 MP front camera
8GB internal storage, with MicroSD card support for an additional 64GB
2040mAh Li-polymer battery
Dimensions: 143.1 x 70.5 x 9.6 mm
Dual front stereo speakersMy take on these two phones
Combining HTC One's design language with specs that are considered desirable by consumers in the non-subsidized growth markets (as explained in the link provided) HTC looks to have a couple of potential winners on their hands. Can we declare that HTC is going to finally turn its fortunes this year? Not so fast, though
What's left to determine their success is their price points.
For me, the Desire 610 looks to be a natural competitor to Motorola's Moto G, granted, the 610s qHD screen is painfully behind the curve at this point. HTC's design, brand and distribution reach could still make this phone a decent contender though. If they priced it right. That means, it has to be priced less than the Moto G costs round these parts (about 210-230 USD). If it's priced higher than that, then tough luck for HTC.
As for the Desire 816, it's specs seem to have been a direct response to my harsh criticism.
In the developing world, consumers often buy large screened midrange phones to not only replace their old phones but also their old netbooks. For some, these phones will be their only personal connected device.
The Desire 816 fits this bill nicely, like many large midrange devices from Lenovo, Samsung, and the likes.
Thus to be competitive, I think the Desire 816 has to be priced so that it sits in the mid range segment (250-500 USD).
Whereas to be a winner, it needs to sit in the upper limit of the lower-midrange bracket (250-375).
Seeing that the new all metal and all glass Lenovo S series phones are priced at around 320 USD with similar specs, I'll say 350-375 USD would be a sweet spot for HTC's Desire 816.
My worry is that HTC might price the Desire 816 like they did the HTC One Mini, which is over $500 off contract. That would put it well in high end territory. But people who are willing to spend more than $500 on phones tend to not have a problem with splurging more to get devices that suit best. That's not where growth is at.
Need proof? Lenovo's mobile shipment grew by more than 300% in 2013, even though their only $500+ phone, the K900 had not been selling well enough to even make headlines.
I hope #HTC
does the right thing this time around, because if their latest financial report is any indication, the clock is ticking.