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Where Does HTC Go from Here?

by Justin Herrick | August 13, 2018August 13, 2018 11:30 am PDT

HTC needs to be saved. Like really, really badly.

The U12 Plus may look impressive on paper, but it’s not actually a very good flagship. Aside from that, the U12 Plus is also bizarrely overpriced. So you won’t be seeing the U12 Plus in any headlines as HTC’s company-saving product.

When you look at HTC’s financial status, you realize how the struggle extends beyond products getting negative reviews. HTC and its bottom line are nearing crisis mode even if the company says everything is fine at the moment.

The story for HTC has been the same in recent years. Time goes by, and revenue keeps declining. Since 2017, there have been only six months in which revenue grew month-over-month. And the drops aren’t soft downticks that would be normal in an off month. HTC sees month-over-month changes in revenue slip by as much as 20 percent quite often.

HTC is profitable right now, but the rate of decline for its revenue should put that in serious jeopardy by the end of the year. If the company somehow manages to remain in the green through 2018, you can bet on the business losing money in 2019.

There is absolutely no possibility that HTC can sustain itself in the long-term. Its flagship is being ignored by consumers, and the media doesn’t have much else to say about it. HTC also lacks a complete lineup with budget-friendly devices to better serve other segments of the market.

Back when I laid out a potential strategy for 2018, I suggested HTC put all resources into a single product. Well, the U12 Plus didn’t turn out as I would’ve hoped. The other idea, which now seems very likely, is for HTC to put itself up for sale.

If HTC is on a path to eventually have no money, the best scenario is for an outside company to intervene. HTC still has valuable assets even after Google acquired a big chunk of it last year. The new parent company would also gain Vive, the virtual reality division, and decide what direction to take that in.

HTC, no matter its recent woes, holds some respect around the world today. So HTC isn’t necessarily a frail company that everyone is afraid to touch.

The two most obvious potential suitors to acquire HTC aren’t located very far away. Acer and ASUS are based in Taiwan, too. Both companies have achieved global success with computers, but their mobile divisions are underwhelming outside of Asia.

Without question, either of the Taiwanese giants could afford to make a deal and reboot the brand. HTC would remain alive, and its buyer would be better positioned in the mobile industry.

The thought of HTC disappearing altogether is sad. HTC created the world’s first Android phone, the G1/Dream. It also stood as a great alternative to Samsung for several years. Most of all, HTC pushed boundaries with all-metal unibody designs that are now common in the industry. As much as we overlook it now, HTC contributed a lot in the last decade.

So if the end is approaching, let’s hope that’s just for HTC’s chapter as a standalone company. HTC could give us a lot more if the right buyer swoops in and gives it proper direction. Until we find out what’s next, let’s hope HTC hangs in there and releases a flagship worth our attention.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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