HTC will streamline its smartphone lineup this year in a bid to return to profitability. The Taiwanese firm plans to abandon entry-level handsets altogether and focus on 6 to 7 devices with higher profit margins that will drive increased revenue and profit.
HTC might make some of the finest Android-powered smartphones, but that doesn’t translate into its financials. Earlier this week, the company announced another drop in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, and a loss of around $116 million.
Chia-Lin Chang, President of the Smartphone and Connected Devices Business, has revealed that HTC will attempt to turn things around in 2017 by releasing fewer devices with greater profit margins. These will all be mid-tier to high-end devices because the affordable, entry-level market is too competitive and nowhere near as profitable.
“What we are doing in 2017 is we are going to continue to reduce our portfolio so the number of key SKU is going to be dramatically reduced from last year,” Chang explained. “As I said, our intention to do basically [6 to 7] maximum, obviously you still have a legacy product in sales throughout the coming month in there. But the new introduction, that’s what we aim for.”
HTC has already launched the U Ultra and U Play this year, which means that it has just four or five additional handsets up its sleeve. One of those will be an HTC 10 successor, which may or may not be named the HTC 11, powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor.
HTC has vowed to streamline its smartphone business more than once in the past, but it hasn’t really followed through with that plan. Now that it is really suffering as a result of its larger portfolio, perhaps the company will finally resist the temptation to rollout a new handset every couple of months.