It must be difficult for HTC at the moment. The recently announced Desire 310 looks like a competent device, but is still priced higher than the Moto G and it does not stand apart from the Android crowd. The next HTC One will gain a lot more attention, but again it could struggle against the Galaxy S5. Samsung's latest phone is incremental for sure, but for some reason hoards of people are happy to put up with TouchWiz, minimal internal memory and other annoyances that often make its phones a pain to use.
Samsung is not an also ran, but at this moment HTC, BlackBerry, LG and many others are because they simply cannot make devices that grab the attention of enough people to turn big profits and to garner the positive press they so desperately need. Nokia is an also ran even if it does not deserve to be- the hardware is sublime, but Windows Phone is not helping the cause and so continues a pattern that leaves only Samsung and Apple as the major players in the industry.
When Apple announce the iPhone 6, the internet will be awash with positive and negative commentary and the same will apply to the Note 4. These two companies are able to create devices that change the industry while the rest struggle for relevance. Some would say that Apple is living on past successes and that the recent iPhone are only slight improvements, that the Apple fanboys will buy the next model anyway, but that would be to miss the point. Love or hate Apple, millions of people will want the latest product the company creates and there are two many reasons for that. Too many reasons to try and narrow it down to one. The same is true of Samsung.
These two companies have nailed what buyers want, whatever that is. And it leaves the others desperately looking around for something to break that monopoly, something they have clearly not found yet.