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.
HTC is aiming to bounce back from a weak launch of its flagship One M9 smartphone by releasing a bevy of mid-range phones in its Desire lineup to U.S. carriers, especially prepaid ones. The hope is that by targeting phones that cost $200 or less without a contract at U.S. consumers, it can regain market share and mindshare while still emphasizing the software and design touches of the M9.
Apple may have captured around just 18 percent of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC. Yet according to investment bank Canaccord Genuity Apple grabbed nearly all of the smartphone profits that quarter.
CTIA said that a group of wireless carriers and smartphone makers had implemented a set of voluntary principles aimed at stopping smartphone theft. The announcement came just as a California law requiring smartphones sold in the state to have a "kill switch" went into effect.
U.S. carriers' embrace of equipment installment plans, and consumers' newfound appetite for such plans, helps operators' bottom lines. But analysts say that as consumers hold onto their phones for longer than they used to under two-year contracts, it is likely going to cause pain for smartphone makers that had grown accustomed to consumers upgrading to new phones more often.