HTC was once the biggest Android manufacturer, that was only a few years ago. In fact, they made the very first Android smartphone and very first Nexus smartphone in the G1 and Nexus One. But in the past few years, they have had trouble making a profit, and even just selling their smartphones. Pretty much since 2011, they've had trouble. While the HTC One M8 started to sell pretty well for them last year, and they started to make a little bit of profit and got out of the red, the One M9 brought them back into the red, sadly.
Now the company is looking to lay off about 600 people to cut costs. The larger plan is to cut about 15% of their workforce. These 600 people will be without a job by the end of next month. About 400 of these work at HTC's headquarters which are based in Taoyuan. Additionally, they work in Research and Development as well as production. The Taoyuan city government has received the layoff plan from HTC already. The remaining 200 people work at the company's Xindian production plant. They also mostly work in R&D as well.
Currently, HTC has around 15,000 workers. So their larger plan of cutting 15% of their workforce includes cutting about 2,250 employees. This is all part of the company looking to cut their costs by about 35%. This comes as their handset business has continued to struggle, amidst tougher competition from not only Motorola, LG, and Samsung, but also the many, many manufacturers popping up in Asia and giving the Taiwanese company a run for its money.
HTC has began expanding their portfolio, moving into VR and other devices. Thanks to the Vive and RE Camera. HTC is working with Valve on the HTC Vive, and commercial units have already been pushed back again until early 2016. HTC makes some great products, so hopefully they won't suffer the same fate as BlackBerry and Nokia. But it's definitely not looking good. Especially for those R&D employees and Taoyuan and Xindian. It's amazing how fast an Android manufacturer can go from the mountain top, to struggling to survive. Samsung should take note.