Not too long ago, HTC was considered as one of the largest phone makers of Android powered mobile devices across the globe. Some even say that the brand was one of the pioneers, especially with past releases like the T-Mobile G1 (which is viewed by many as one of the earliest Android phones), and of course, the Nexus One, the first ever Google Nexus smartphone.
But how quickly the times change -- the last couple of years have seen HTC continue to struggle to keep up with clear market leader Samsung (whose Galaxy devices remain best sellers worldwide, despite the unforgettable Galaxy Note 7 disaster last year). Financially speaking, the Taiwanese phone maker is racking up losses quarter after quarter. It would hardly be a surprise if the company was starting to explore a shakeup of its operations, and a recent report published by Bloomberg is suggesting that the mobile giant might actually be considering such a thing.
There is a good possibility that HTC could sell off its Vive virtual reality hardware division. This segment by far is currently the company’s more lucrative and more valued business. And it bears noting that about a year ago, the phone maker ceded control of Vive to a wholly owned subsidiary company of the larger HTC umbrella.
But there is more -- the Bloomberg report also mentioned the possibility of an entire sale of the whole HTC mobile business. This would include both the phone making business and the Vive VR hardware segment mentioned earlier. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, it is worth mentioning that Bloomberg has not stated any potential suitor or definite timetable in its report.
The global Android phone market is very competitive. Apart from contending with number one brand Samsung, HTC also has to deal with a cadre of Chinese tech giants wanting to be the new Android kings of the world, including Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi. To HTC’s credit, its more recent smartphone releases were actually not bad -- last year’s HTC 10 was a pretty impressive flagship offering, and the U11 the company had launched back in June earlier this year could hold its own against other Android devices. And though not many people know this, the Taiwan based mobile manufacturer is actually Google’s builder partner for the Pixel devices.
But in this cut throat industry, technical expertise and manufacturing prowess do not mean much if the consumers themselves do not buy your products. Tried as it did, HTC never really quite managed to turn itself from pioneer to leading Android brand.
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