Besides recording the usual less than stellar numbers at its quarterly earnings conference, HTC offered a glimpse at its strategy for competing in the smartphone business this year. Chia-Lin Chang, president of the company's Smartphone and Connected Devices business, asserted that HTC's focus is on returning to profitability after reporting losses for seven consecutive quarters. The approach is to reduce product offerings to a small number of projects with potential for "profitable sales." – this, in president Chang's own words, involves getting out of the entry-level smartphone business, which she describes as "ultra-competitive" and lacking a "profitability perspective."
Indeed, the choice of sub-$150 to $199 phones has become overwhelming, especially in the vast and well-developed Chinese market. Unfortunately, offering a good product is not enough to get noticed, and HTC's marketing and product building power is better spent on a limited number of higher-margin projects. The company has no intention of presenting more than 7 "key SKU" (stock-keeping units) this year, so let's hope it will be a lucky seven!
In addition to new entries in the HTC U smartphone series, the company is preparing Vive-branded products such as wearable fitness tracker that doubles as a VR controller.