HTC's first mover disadvantage
Looking at the Verge's slightly negative review of the Droid DNA, it seems that HTC's preference for launching innovative technology first, has harmed them significantly in the US market.
While any tech enthusiast appreciates novelty and risk, (they launched the first Android phone for Pete's sake) from a business perspective it seems to be hurting them as of late.
They've done a lot for mobile innovation, see http://www.htc.com/sea/discover/ & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWDHYqBSjQg, but based on 2012 sales, it seems they might not be in the position to keep leading the industry.
1) HTC seems to be the first to OEM launch a skin on Android phone, starting with the HTC Hero in 2009, which came to hurt them as Sense became a bloated and wasteful abomination.
2) HTC was the first to integrate 4G hurt them as the thicker and battery intensive 2010 Sprint smartphones hurt sales and opened the door for the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S.
3) HTC is the first to launch a US smartphone with a 1080P, which seems to be a net negative over their 720P One X screen.
They seem to be in a vicious cycle where they rush to market with new tech to get attention, create marketing buzz and drive sales, only to frustrate early adopters with poor performance and battery life.
There's seem to be a fine line between their high-risk 'see what sticks' strategy and Apple's 'always late' approach (3G, 4G LTE, NFC, Wireless charging, etc.)
Hope they find it soon, as the mobile industry is shaping up to be a two-horse race of Samsung(which almost has more power than Android) and Apple.