Motorola is predicted to become the leading supplier of Android devices, pushing HTC to the number two spot. Motorola got real serious with Android with the launch of the Verizon based Droid and it looks like that is paying off.DigiTimes is predicting that Motorola will account for 34.7% of Android devices in 2010 with HTC close behind at 31.9%. That is quite a change from 2009 where HTC commanded 64.5% of the Android market. Motorola's Droid came onto the scene and grabbed 25% of the market by itself, aided by an intense advertising campaign led by Verizon.
That signals a turn in HTC's fortunes as a leading maker of smartphones. Unlike many other manufacturers such as Samsung or Nokia, HTC focuses almost entirely on smartphones. They are known for heavily customizing the user interface of their devices.
2009 wasn't kind to HTC in top line sales or margins. SeattlePI noted that while smartphone shipments were up 15% in 2009, HTC was flat. HTC had two key platforms in its stable, Windows Mobile and Android. We know its Android devices sold well and were on the uptick for the year. That means that Windows Mobile acted as a parachute to slow down the growth rate HTC has experienced in previous years.
HTC will need a successful device with general name recognition like the Droid has to restart its growth engine. It is also anxiously awaiting Microsoft's Windows Mobile 7 release. There has been a lot of hype around it. Surely Microsoft is going to launch its own brand recognition ad campaign when devices ship that gets the consumer interested in the platform again. That too would help HTC's fortunes.