The latest smartphone market forecast conducted by the global market research firm TrendForce isn't too optimistic where HTC is concerned as the company's analyst Avril Wu predicted a sharp drop of HTC's total production volume of flagships. More specifically, Wu forecasted that the Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer will produce just around 1 million units of its HTC 10 flagship while its overall production volume for 2016 will amount to 13 million units. That's an incredibly sharp drop in comparison to last year when the company manufactured over 18 Million units, especially when you consider the fact that HTC will also be producing the next Nexus "Sailfish" smartphone. TrendForce explains that this drop is due to the fact that HTC shifted a significant portion of its product development focus to virtual reality (VR) hardware.
As for the general situation on the market, Wu claims that the global production volume of smartphones will reach its peak during the current quarter due to a record-breaking shipment seasons and numerous subsidies. Naturally, a sharp increase in demand for smartphones will also result in the growth of smartphone component markets. Wu predicted that application processors, memory, panels, and most other key smartphone components will be in short supply in throughout the summer. While HTC is expected to experience a sharp drop in its production volumes, Chinese smartphone makers will continue doing quite well. More specifically, the year-on-year growth rate of Huawei, Vivo, LeEco, and OPPO is supposed to reach 11%. Wu expects that LeEco, in particular, will rapidly expand thanks to its aggressive approach to numerous hardware device markets ranging from smartphones to smart TVs. Namely, after producing just over 5 million units in 2015, LeEco is now forecasted to surpass 20 million in overall production volume by the end of this year. TrendForce's research even goes as far as to suggest that LeEco will experience a similar growth rate in 2017.
The Chinese market research firm also predicted that a global smartphone maker looking to be in this year's top 10 manufacturers must produce at least 40 million units by the end of Q4 2016. Naturally, no single company will sell every produced unit, but it still seems highly unlikely that HTC will enter 2017 as one of the top phone manufacturers.