HTC bosses talk ‘disruptive’ tablet, Windows Phone, and gimmicky smartwatches

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Interested to know what HTC has planned now CEO Peter Chou is looking after product innovation and design, while Chairman Cher Wang is dealing with the business activities? In an interview published on the Financial Times website over the weekend, the two people in control over at HTC talked more about the situation at the firm.

Peter Chou was quick to defend the HTC One and the company’s low market share, saying the slump was, “Coming from the mid and entry-level segments,” something which vindicates the costly One, but doesn’t bode well for the distinctly mid-range HTC One Mini. Undeterred, Chou told the Financial Times that the mid-range catalog will be getting his attention soon.

Another area where HTC hasn’t excelled is in tablets, but that could change if Cher Wang has her way, saying that when – not it – an HTC tablet comes out, “It will be something nice and disruptive.” Her use of the word disruptive indicates the device will break new ground in an innovative way, forcing consumers and other companies to take notice.

HTC One MaxThe discussion of new tech continued onto the subject of smartwatches, a relatively unexplored market into which Samsung has recently taken its first tentative steps. Instead of saying an HTC model would be coming soon, Peter Chou said, “It’s still too early.” He described the current models as gimmicks, and said they lack style and didn’t really fit into our everyday lives. He’s not down on wearable tech though, and called it a, “Critical segment,” in which he saw an opportunity for the company.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform was also touched upon, and while HTC is still keen to continue building hardware for Microsoft’s operating system, he said sales so far have been small, and HTC is still working out how to promote and position Windows Phone in the market. Not good news for a platform in its third year of existence. 

Although HTC’s recent struggles have been well-publicized, Peter Chou said, “It’s not a huge problem” for the company to remain competitive and survive. He claims a 5 percent overall market share – up from the estimated 2.6 percent currently – and 15 percent chunk of the premium end of the phone market would be a, “Pretty good number.”

HTC’s last major product release was the HTC One Max, a smartphone/tablet hybrid with a 5.9-inch screen and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. It has been rumored to be producing a new full-size tablet for a while.