HTC Corp, the company behind the very first commercially available Android smartphone, has been on a bit of a financial side lately. Despite being a giant early on, their shares have fallen by 51 percent this year so far. To combat this downward spiral, the Taiwanese manufacturer has announced “significant” cuts to both jobs and phone models according to Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang. “The cuts will be across the board,” he announced after reporting both a second quarter loss and a projected loss for the following quarter. Chang stated that the cuts are expected to last at least until the first quarter of 2016.The new strategy for HTC will be to focus on high-end flagship devices so that they can better compete with Samsung and Apple, the two biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. Chang went on to explain that they are hoping to take advantage of high-end sales in emerging markets such as India.
With the high end belonging to Apple and Samsung, and the budget market being flooded with inexpensive chinese manufacturers and stellar offerings like the Moto G from the likes of Lenovo-Motorola, the once great Android pioneer is really struggling to find a niche these days. Industry analysts like SinoPac Securities’ Calvin Huang are painting a bleak picture for HTC. “We believe HTC will keep losing share in the smartphone market and will keep losing money,” he wrote in a recent research note. Some analysts are predicting a minimum of four quarters of continued loss. This type of hemorrhaging has led them to make cuts in the past as well, although until now they have been attempting to avoid laying off employees.
The company has been accused of being disjointed, lacking focus and unoriginal by it’s detractors. This reputation has not served HTC well, but it is hard to say if this new strategy is enough to stem the tide of loss they have been struggling with. HTC must do much more than merely providing incremental updates to their HTC One M line if they are going to get consumers excited again. In the highly competitive world of smartphones and mobile electronics resting on your laurels is a sure-fire way of getting left behind, just ask Blackberry.