Ask yourself one question: What does HP mean to consumers?
The answer is: a lot. The brand is heavily associated with lots of connotations. This is because of the companies' large brand heritage. So is HTC.
Remember: a couple of years ago (or a couple more) most people didn't even know HTC. Then they knew them as innovators. Now they know them as that business brand that's not sexy anymore and fails to stay up to par with the other companies because of its update-averse system UI. But the brand still has a lot of heritage as an innovator. They are 'one of the great' companies in the mobile computing business.
The first false assumption here is that, for a brand which already exists for some time now and has created a decent brand awareness with its stakeholders, a rebranding always helps.
Rebranding a company costs millions of dollars, and – to a business in decline like HTCs – can also be a massive threat. Brand recognition, brand sympathy – all those are connected, deeply linked to your brand name.
When most people think about a name change they tend to think most about what they would like better about a new name, about what chances a new name opens for a company. They tend to think less about the connections lost. If HTC were a young company just now entering the consumer market, I would also suggest to them to get a name that fits better (by the way: 'age-tee-cee' is not the worst acronym you can have).
Ask yourself this: would it make sense for HP to rename? If not, why? They also have a struggling hardware business and are desperately seeking for new orientation and a new vision for their company.
So, the real question we should ask ourselves, is: 'Should HTC rebrand itself today, under the given circumstances?'
Yes, HTC would benefit from having a different name.
No, HTC would not benefit from a rebranding now and under the given circumstances it faces today.
Rebranding does not always make sense. Here's one of the many nice little articles about failures in rebranding.
If HTC have a good advisor, he'll tell them what they need is a new R&D strategy and what they don't need is a new brand, even if that advisor makes less money by doing so.
See the answer on Quora:
Should HTC rebrand itself?