The last few years have not been so easy for the Taiwanese HTC smartphone manufacturer. The company does not seem to succeed in making devices that buyers want, despite being very powerful and capable. After selling an entire development division to Google last year, the company cuts nearly a quarter of Taiwan's labor in an effort to limit losses for 2018.
It seems that the new U11 and U12 series did not prove to be very profitable, as despite the fact that last year HTC sold the team of engineers that developed Pixel to Google, which included about 2,000 employees for 1.1 billion dollars the company is still losing money. In addition to January 2018, when HTC recorded a "mere" 27.03% drop over the previous year, the rest of the months dropped between 44 and 54% (the largest drop being in April). Consequently, HTC will lay off about 1,500 Taiwanese employees, accounting for about 22% of the total worldwide.
Just over five years ago, HTC had over 19,000 employees while in the summer of 2016, the company registered nearly 14,000 employees. It currently has only 6,450 employees after 2,000 have been moved to Google. After the new wave of layoffs, HTC remains with a staff that accounts for nearly a quarter of its workforce in 2013.
The company motivated the move is through the need to "optimize the organization of production operations in Taiwan," and the process will last until September. Thus, the HTC smartphone division appears to be in jeopardy, with rumors of closing or selling for many years. Even without making mobile phones, HTC could find a profitable business with the Vive virtual reality division, which has been successful both in China and the rest of the world.
It's possible in just a few years to talk about HTC's "VR company" and not HTC's "smartphone manufacturer."