In the mobile industry Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is second only to BlackBerry for company woes. There’s been plummeting profits, patent losses against competitors, and last month three of the company’s chief executives were even arrested for stealing trade secrets.
And yet despite all this, the actual hardware made by the company continues to wow critics. The latest indication of this came from last night’s T3 Gadget Awards show, where the HTC One managed to take home three awards: Phone of the Year, Gadget of the Year and the T3 Design Award.
The feat is not surprising (the One has been consistently well reviewed despite lacklustre sales) but still significant – the handset even beat both the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 to take home the Phone of the Year category.
T3’s editor-in-chief Kieran Alger described the year’s awards as “the hardest fought yet”, with other multiple winners including Apple (the Mac Book Air took Computer of the Year and the iPad Mini got Tablet of the Year) and Sony (they got the Digital Camera prize for the Nex-6 and TV of the Year for the Bravia KD-65X9005A).
Actual flesh-and-blood people as well as gadgets were honoured at the awards, with Chris Anderson (the curator of TED talks) receiving the inaugural T3 Tech Legend award, and Michael Acton Smith being awarded the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Tech.
The 37-year-old Smith first made his name with his first business, online gadget retailer Firebox.com. His most recent venture has been the Moshi Monsters franchise, a roster of kid-friendly characters that featuring as toys, in computer games and even in books (and there's a TV show in the pipeline).
The company claim that Moshi Monsters are the top licensed property in the UK, with more than £46.9m turnover in 2012 and over 70m users registered on the characters' website.