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HTC to cut back smartphones and staff after worst losses ever

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HTC back

This year has been a tough one for Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, with serious losses posted in the last quarter.

As such, the company has announced it’s going to start cutting staff and reducing the number of smartphones in turns out each year.

In an earnings call this week, HTC posted its biggest ever quarterly loss of £163 million – that’s in the three months leading up to June.

The firm, which saw strong performance from the HTC One M8 last year, has struggled to keep up with Apple and Samsung in 2015.

What’s more, the HTC One M9 has faced tough criticism from reviewers, leaving HTC’s flagship smartphone floundering.

The aforementioned losses were caused by “weaker than expected demand at the high end...along with weak sales in China,” says HTC, speaking in a statement given to press.

The Chinese smartphone market is fierce right now, with big players like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Samsung, and Apple all eating into HTC’s market share.

“Like Nokia and BlackBerry, few smartphone makers are able to turn around once they lose in the battle for market share,” explains Jeff Pu, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting analyst. “Consumers quickly forget you.”

Related: HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift

HTC may have a saving grace in the works however, in the form of its upcoming HTC Vive virtual reality headset.

Developed in partnership with game development firm Valve, the Vive is set to launch in 2015’s holiday season.

“The company is working with over 1,000 developers on content creation over a wide spectrum of applications including gaming, entertainment and education, to ensure a compelling ecosystem ahead of the highly anticipated launch of HTC Vive at the end of the year,” says HTC.

Unfortunately, the Vive is facing stiff competition too, going up against the Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus, and the Samsung Gear VR.

Check out our ‘Samsung Gear VR – Is this the future?’ video below:

fried_egg

August 8, 2015, 8:56 am

M9 seemed to be stuck with awkward design because they would have had their agents tooled up for the M8 and not wanted to suffer the cost of amending production. Too many specifications seemed weird or gimmicky and thus hard to "sell" - plus that "back" is ugly with the camera surround looking cheap. Should have been better than it was - if they had gone more "easily understood" they would have done better. China is a lost market - no premium brand can compete at the low to middle end (Sony's new "lowest end" is the "super middle" with advanced camera differentiation) and the Chinese worried about the anti-corruption laws are avoiding unnecessary flaunting of wealth on foreign highend brands.

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