HTC, the company that was once the fastest riser in the mobile industry, spent 2012 stuck in reverse gear. In spite of aggressively redesigning its smartphone lineup with the One series of Android devices and 8X and 8S Windows Phones, the Taiwanese outfit simply couldn't drag itself out of the doldrums. Today, its CEO and co-founder Peter Chou has told the Wall Street Journal that he anticipates 2013 will be a better year for his team and that "the worst for HTC has probably passed."

Stressing the need for HTC to be more responsive to consumer demand and to act more flexibly, Chou ultimately believes it was HTC's inadequate marketing that led to disappointment last year. HTC can be expected to redouble its promotional efforts in 2013, which may or may not prove to be the panacea Chou seeks, but the rest of the CEO's words sound eerily similar to what the company was saying at this time a year ago. Back at the start of 2012, HTC came out promising greater market responsiveness and faster execution — which was embodied by the creation of the HTC Design studio — yet the eventual results proved worse than the company had achieved in 2011. So it's not merely a matter of having the right intentions, you've got to execute those plans too.