The rise of virtual reality is coming at an interesting time for the smartphone business. High-end smartphone growth is facing challenges in a quickly maturing market due to slower innovation, rise of the "good-enough" smartphone, competitive Chinese device manufacturers and the trend of consumers upgrading more infrequently in a saturated market. Even Apple is experiencing smartphone growth issues, selling about 16 percent fewer iPhones while making about 18 percent less revenues on iPhone sales in 2Q 2016 versus the same period last year.
HTC introduced its latest flagship phone, unveiling a high-end device with predictably compelling specs. Whether the HTC 10 will help the company claw back some customers in an extremely competitive market, though, is far from clear.
HTC said it will unveil its latest smartphone April 12, but the company isn't saying much more.
HTC and Under Armour opened the CES trade show here by introducing an all-in-one fitness system to track sleep, activity and nutrition. Branded the UA HealthBox, the system comprises a fitness band, heart rate monitor and connected scale that are integrated with Under Armour's UA Record app, which is available for Android phones and the iPhone.
HTC's wearable ambitions have been put on hold again. On Friday the smartphone maker, which is trying to branch out into new product categories, said that its Grip fitness wearable, which it is partnering with Under Armour on, will not be released this year as expected and will instead come out in early 2016.
HTC is seeking to revive its fortunes with a new flagship smartphone called the One A9 that it hopes will stand out in a crowded field because it is selling it as an unlocked phone and because it is the first non-Nexus device to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.
A low unemployment rate of 5.1 percent may be promising, but a number of factors such as a slowing Chinese economy and a weak European market are forcing a number of wireless companies to cut jobs.
Although the economy has rebounded somewhat since the depths of the Great Recession and companies in the wireless industry are no longer shedding jobs on a seemingly weekly basis as firms were in late 2008 and early 2009, not everything is rosy. FierceWireless has compiled a list of the five largest job cutting programs in wireless in 2015 thus far.
HTC's woes continue. The struggling smartphone maker will be removed later this month from the main Taiwan Stock Exchange's FTSE TWSE Taiwan 50 Index, the main index in the country. The move not only reflects HTC's battered share price but how far the company has fallen in recent years.
Former HTC CEO Peter Chou is staying with the struggling smartphone maker but is also taking on another role: executive director at Hong Kong-based digital effects company Digital Domain.