Downward trajectory: HTC reports fourth consecutive quarter of revenue decline

htc for u event 2017 logo macro
opopododo/Flickr
HTC, the beleaguered Taiwanese smartphone maker that seemed poised to regain its financial footing with well-reviewed new flagship products, may have a bumpier road to recovery than previously predicted. In an earnings report on Monday morning for the first calendar quarter of 2016, the company reported a dip in revenue of 64 percent, and a 78-percent dive in profits year on year — the fourth consecutive quarter of major declines.

HTC’s losses amounted to about $148 million in the first quarter of 2016, a far cry from 2015’s comparatively rosy first quarter. Back then, it raked in 41.5 billion Taiwanese dollars (about $1.29 billion) in revenue and 8.2 billion Taiwanese dollars ($250 million) in profits. By contrast, so far this year, HTC has only managed a paltry 14.8 billion in Taiwanese currency ($460 million) and 1.8 billion ($60 million) in profits.

The company’s solution is cost cutting, predictably. Some of this is tangible — HTC recently sold real estate — while other measures involve the continued trimming of fat from the company’s product development and manufacturing lines. (In August of 2015, the company eliminated 2,250 “redundant” jobs — about 15 percent of its staff.) “HTC will continue to streamline processes and optimize resources to develop products in the most effective way,” the firm said in a related statement.

Despite the first quarter’s dire implications, HTC asserts publicly that it remains confident that things are looking up. It projects growth in the second quarter of this year thanks to “strong launches” both for its new flagship smartphone, the HTC 10, and its HTC Vive virtual reality headset. (In March, the company reportedly sold 15,000 Vive units within the first 10 minutes of their availability — a development which saw the company’s stock jump 19.75 percent.) And with supply chain improvements in place, the firm’s CEO, Chialing Chang, predicts the company’s smartphone division will break even as early as the third quarter of this year.

“The media and consumer buzz around HTC, including for the keenly awaited launches of the flagship smartphone and Vive virtual reality system, clearly demonstrate our leadership in innovation, and have provided a great boost to the HTC brand,” Chang said in a press release. “We have been working hard to lay the groundwork over the past year.”

A substantial bit of that groundwork will involve tapping the Vive’s burgeoning ecosystem. Earlier in May, the company debuted a VR accelerator program, Vive X, that’ll see $100 million of its own capital invested in startups based in Beijing, Taipei, and San Francisco. In return for funding, office space, and the mentorship of HTC’s VR development team, companies which are selected for the program have agreed to pay HTC a “small amount” of their profits — a revenue arrangement which could become quite lucrative as VR continues to make consumer inroads.

The smartphone markets presents a tougher challenge. HTC’s total global share of cellular subscribers stood at 3.2 percent as of January, market analytics company comScore reports —  a sharp 0.6-percent drop from March 2015’s 3.8 percent. Clawing out from that position won’t be easy, but HTC may have a helping hand — rumor has it that the company is set to produce the next phones in Google’s premium Nexus line.

Product Review

4 Lenses, 40 megapixels, and 400k ISO. Huawei’s P30 Pro is a photography freak

Huawei’s P-series phones place an emphasis on the camera. That’s why the company partnered with Leica on the camera tuning. The latest phone is the Huawei P30 Pro, and it must fill the big shoes of last year’s stunning P20 Pro. Is it…
Computing

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Product Review

Compared to the P30 Pro, Huawei may have stripped too much out of the P30 phone

Has Huawei pulled all the best parts out of the P30 Pro to make the P30, its cheaper, smaller sister phone? Yes, but the answer is more complicated than that. Here’s our look at the 6.1-inch P30.
Wearables

Carbon fiber is making Casio’s new connected G-Shock watches even tougher

Casio, a master of tough watches, has introduced carbon fiber to the construction of several G-Shock models, making them stronger and lighter, and allowing for some interesting design changes too.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're after a Huawei smartphone, but can't pick between this year's flagship and the previous two, or maybe you're looking to upgrade, we're here to explain what makes the P30 Pro, P20 Pro, and Mate 20 Pro different.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Huawei P30: Should you go pro or save some dough?

The latest phones from Huawei are seriously powerful, eye-catching devices, but what sets them apart? We take a look at the Huawei P30 Pro and compare it to the Huawei P30 in various categories to uncover the differences.
Mobile

The 13 best iPhone 7 Plus cases to protect your Apple phone

The iPhone 7 Plus is big and beautiful, but you need to wrap it up if you want to protect it from damage. We’ve rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 Plus cases and covers available. Get some protection or a new style today.
Mobile

Huawei’s Eyewear smartglasses aim to fuse fashion and tech

At its launch event for the new P30 and P30 Pro smartphones, Huawei surprised us with a pair of smart glasses. Created through a partnership with Gentle Monster, these glasses are designed to be stylish and act like a Bluetooth headset.
Mobile

Galaxy S8 owners on Sprint start receiving the Android Pie update

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 2019’s biggest flagships clash

Huawei launched the powerful P30 Pro. It's a beautiful phone with tons of power and some extremely capable cameras. But you could also describe the Galaxy S10 Plus that way — so which is better?
Mobile

Huawei adds a new, smaller Elegant size to the Huawei Watch GT range

Huawei launched two new versions of the Huawei Watch GT. The first, the Huawei Watch GT Active, comes with two new colors. The Huawei Watch GT Elegant comes with a smaller frame and a more elegant and stylish look.