HTC is finding itself on the wrong side of a rapidly evolving smartphone market.
The Taiwanese company reported today that its revenues fell 64 percent in the first quarter and that profits fell 78 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
While HTC has been in decline for several quarters now, the plunge in sales for the beginning of this year raises questions about whether it’s too late for the company to turn things around.
HTC has just recently released its Vive VR system to good reviews, along with a new flagship phone, the HTC 10. Neither of those products counted in this quarter, but they’re going to need to come on pretty strong in the face of consumer skepticism and a viciously competitive Android market for HTC to have any hope.
The company reported $14.8 billion (New Taiwan dollars or $460 million U.S. dollars) in sales for the first quarter of 2016, down from NT $41.8 billion (U.S. $1.29 billion) a year ago. Profits were NT $1.8 billion (U.S. $60 million), down from NT $8.2 billion (U.S. $250 million).
So, what’s the plan going forward? In the earnings report, the company noted two things: “HTC has seen strong launches in early Q2 ’16 for both the new flagship smartphone, the HTC 10, and the HTC Vive virtual reality system and anticipate good momentum over the year.”
And second: “HTC will continue to streamline processes and optimize resources to develop products in the most effective way.”
The company has recently sold off some real estate. And it has said it will invest $100 million in developing content for the Vive.
“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,” Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO of HTC, said in a statement. “We have been working hard to lay the groundwork over the past year, streamlining processes and optimizing resources to enable us to develop the best products in the most effective way.”