HTC executives hint at “disruptive” tablet, wearable device

October 21, 2013
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HTC CEO Peter Chou (4) Credit: HTC

HTC CEO Peter Chou and chairwoman Cher Wang talked to the Financial Times about the company’s plans for the future, which may include tablets and wearable devices.

Rumors about HTC returning to the tablet business have surfaced regularly in the past years. The company hasn’t released a tablet since the Flyer, in 2011. “When the [HTC] tablet comes out it will be something nice and disruptive”, said  Wang, without giving more details.

HTC’s two top executives showed interest in moving beyond smartphones and tablets, according to the FT profile:

Wearable technology is 'a critical segment for us', 'It matches what we do today as a mobile experience overall. That is one area we are excited about.'
Peter Chou

Chou revealed for the first time that HTC collaborated with Microsoft for a smartwatch in the past, but the project was eventually scrapped. As for when will HTC attempt a new move in this space, Chou commented that wearable tech is not mature enough, calling current devices “version one” or “gimmicks” that lack style.

The FT interview also reveals that Chou has delegated some of his responsibilities to Chairwoman Wang, in what the pair presented as a temporary move. Peter Chou is now focusing on product development and “innovation”, while Cher Wang has taken over sales, marketing and supplier relationships. HTC’s longtime CEO admitted he lacked focus before, when he was “too busy”. Some market watchers and pundits called for him to step down following HTC’s recent predicaments, but Chou still seems to have Wang’s full support.

HTC is going through the hardest period of its existence. The company had to announce the first quarterly loss since it went public, and the situation likely won’t change for the better in the coming months. With yet another executive jumping ship last week, HTC’s top brass is unsurprisingly eager to give investors something positive to talk about.

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