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.
HTC's Vive virtual reality headset will not have a widespread commercial launch in 2015, as initially planned, with the launch slipping into 2016. HTC had previously said the Vive would be commercially released by year-end.
Smartphone makers Lenovo and HTC both said they will cut jobs as they seek to increase profitability, an indication of both weakening demand in China and other major smartphone markets as well as the difficulty of Android-focused OEMs to achieve a profit.
HTC said that it is going to cut jobs and expenses and produce fewer smartphone models, with a focus on the premium smartphone segment. The company, as expected, posted weak financial results for the second quarter and warned of a loss ahead on the third quarter.
There is clearly still a market for flagship smartphones. They excite fans of the brands that make them and often serve as the reference point for the company's design language that filters down to mid-range and lower-end phones. But the days of the flagship smartphone as the be-all, end-all product for smartphone companies are over.