Floundering HTC set to go back to making budget phones

HTC will return to producing affordable smartphones as its profits continue to suffer, according to a recent report.

The Taiwanese manufacturer last year committed to concentrating on high-end devices, which resulted in the launch of this year’s critically lauded HTC One. However, underwhelming sales and plummeting profits have led to a bit of a rethink.

As reported by Reuters, during a recent investor briefing HTC outlined its plans for the immediate future. Amidst warnings that its profits would fall by 15 percent in the fourth quarter, HTC will look to “broader products” and a “higher volume into 2014 that will give better profitability.”

The report claims that this means a return to affordable smartphones, with an estimated 60 percent of all smartphone sales in the increasingly vital Chinese market said to be models that cost $150 or less.

Towards the end of October, reports emerged that HTC had shuttered one of its four main production lines, reducing its manufacturing capacity by as much as 20 percent. What’s more, it was revealed that HTC would be outsourcing some of its smartphone production.

Further back in September, HTC sold its remaining shares in Beats Audio back to the Dr Dre-founded audio equipment company for $265 million. It was seen as a move to help put cash in the bank following investor pressure to return to profitability.

HTC’s last phone was the HTC One Max, which was essentially an expanded 6-inch version of the flagship HTC One.

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