HTC plans to lay off 1,500 employees. This was announced by the company. About a quarter of the current workforce is affected. A step in the right direction or the final nail in the coffin?
What is interesting about this number is that it should mainly affect personnel in the production facilities. HTC expects this to provide greater flexibility and better resource management. The cause is - at first glance - quickly found: HTC has recently sold fewer and fewer smartphones, and Google will produce its Pixel smartphones at another contract manufacturer. For HTC as a company, this step could even be considered positive.
Of course, this is still bad news for the employees concerned, as well as fans of HTC smartphones, ourselves at AndroidPIT included. HTC would certainly prefer the smartphone division to be more successful. Despite positive reviews of the U11 or U12+, the smartphone market is and remains very competitive and it is currently difficult for many formerly established manufacturers to successfully fight the battle for market share. It seems that HTC wants to concentrate on successful divisions - also in production.
All in for VR: HTC seeks its fortune in the future
In the same report, Reuters points out that the step should also serve to reconcile the management of the smartphone and VR divisions. HTC announced this some time ago and placed most regions under the responsibility of leading Vive managers.
What we know today about future HTC products does not give us any idea where new masses of sold smartphones will come from. HTC Exodus? The blockchain smartphone, for which the concrete added value has not yet been determined. Flagships such as the HTC U12+ will certainly find their buyers. But the quantities sold are certainly more manageable than a few years ago.
Vive, in turn, concentrates on the VR market with the Vive Focus and the Vive Pro. Here is the hope that an early market entry will bear fruit. HTC has invested a lot of money in the field of future technologies anyway. Google had been given 2,000 employees for around one billion dollars. These now continue to work on the pixel smartphones.
HTC, on the other hand, is dedicated to AR, VR and AI. Smartphones now only exist as 5G suppliers as far as the company is concerned. At the moment, however, these are areas that are making money, especially in the business customer environment. Consumers will only see the fruits of HTC's investment in technological development in a few years' time.
The question is, can HTC hold out that long? If you are currently talking to those responsible, things seem to be going quite well at the moment. But there is no mention of smartphones. The happy noises all come from the Vive division.
Do you think HTC will finally say goodbye to the smartphone? Have VR goggles blinded HTC to the market realities? Let us know your theories about the future of HTC in the comments!