BARCELONA, Spain--Making good on its promise from earlier this month to push less expensive phones, HTC announced two mid-range smartphones in its Desire family here at the Mobile World Congress trade show. The smartphone maker aims to transfer the high-end design sensibility of its flagship One to products with lower price points.
Smartphone maker HTC said it will return to making less expensive smartphones in an effort to shore up its shrinking revenues. The announcement comes about a year after the company first announced its high-end, flagship One smartphone, which was relatively well received but failed to ignite sales at the Taiwanese vendor.
HTC said that current CFO Chialin Chang will also serve as global head of sales for the time being as the Taiwanese smartphone maker works to reverse sales declines and spark a turnaround.
HTC is considering outsourcing some of its handset manufacturing to outside contractors, according to multiple reports. Additionally, Reuters reported that HTC has halted at least one of its four main manufacturing lines, which accounts for at least a fifth of total capacity, as it looks to improve its cash flow amid declining sales.
HTC Chairwoman and co-founder Cher Wang has taken over some of the day-to-day duties of CEO Peter Chou so he can focus more on products, in what is being positioned as a temporary move to help the struggling smartphone maker right the ship.
HTC CEO Peter Chou has said he has no plans to step down and the company is making progress in turning around sales through its flagship One smartphone and its variants. However, a portrait painted by an in-depth profile of Chou by Reuters indicates that insiders in the company view Chou as an obstacle to a revival in the struggling company's fortunes.
HTC, struggling to gain traction on the back of its flagship One smartphone, warned that it could post an operating loss for the third quarter, which would be its first since it became a public company in 2002. The smartphone maker also said it will release more mid-tier products to help it shore up its business.
HTC is once again making Jason Mackenzie, its president of global sales, the leader of its Americas business. The company is also creating an emerging devices unit, though it's unclear what that will be focused on.
Troubled Taiwanese smartphone marker HTC reported that its second quarter net profit declined 83 percent to $41.6 million, down from $245.4 million a year earlier and missing analysts' estimates that had profit at $66.3 million for the quarter. The company had hoped that its newly launched HTC One smartphone would help it rebound, but that didn't happen.
HTC CEO Peter Chou said he would not be stepping down from the smartphone maker anytime soon, despite declining market share and profits and worries about the company's future. In both an interview and at the company's annual shareholder meeting, he said HTC is making progress in improving sales thanks to expanded marketing efforts and the One, HTC's flagship device on which it is basing its turnaround.