HTC is a company that seems to be on their last legs, which is a shame as they once competed toe-to-toe with Samsung at the top of the Android pile. In the last few years however, the company has failed to keep up with Samsung’s massive marketing budget and the buying public are moving on to devices from the likes of Motorola, LG and Sony. With poor sales continuing to plague the company, HTC’s stock price recently fell to its lowest in 10 years, causing the Taiwanese stock market to halt sales altogether. Now, the Financial Times is reporting that the company must cut 15% of its workforce in order to survive.
The Financial Times has quoted Cher Wang, the company’s co-founder and current CEO as saying that “now, as we diversify beyond smartphones, we need a flexible and dynamic organization to ensure we can take advantage of all of the exciting opportunities in the connected lifestyle space.” We suppose that the words ‘flexible and dynamic’ mean ‘small and lean’ in this sense, as cutting 15% of your workforce is never an easy task. In the tech space, and particularly the mobile arena, HTC are not alone. Qualcomm have had some of the roughest Q2 figures in a long, long time and they’re having to cut jobs as well. Earlier this year we saw Microsoft lay off a massive portion of their own workers as well.
While trimming the fat and creating a leaner employee base is not unique to HTC, they are definitely struggling on their own in the smartphone market. With around just 2% of the smartphone market nowadays, the company has fallen a long way from their position years ago, and it doesn’t seem as if the company knows how to make their way back up the ladder, either. Device launches like the HTC One M9 have left consumers confused and in some cases, bored. Initiatives like their UH OH Protection plan in North America, which covers users from accidental damage, are great additions, but seem too little, too late. Can HTC turn things around, or will they find themselves a buyout target for a larger company that is doing well in the mobile sector? Only time will tell.