Update, 07/19/18 at 2:29 p.m. ET: HTC provided the following statement to Android Authority:
The HTC brand is well received globally and 2018 will be a year for strong, accelerated execution of our strategy. We are laser-focused on creating and delivering more disruptive technologies and building our brand through the innovative, high quality products that our customers expect. Being an important market to HTC, we will continue to invest in India in the right segments and at the right time. We value our customer distribution partners and will have a bright future together. As an innovation leader, we also continue to seek talent in strategic areas for further growth.
The technologies of virtual and augmented reality as well as artificial intelligence and high speed connectivity will converge with humanity to unleash our imagination and change our world. As 5G arrives, it will open up endless new possibilities with ubiquitous connections. Smartphones will be the first step in 5G for consumers, while VR, AR and AI will be the killer applications, and no other company is better positioned to deliver on this vision than HTC. This vision, that we call VIVE Reality, will completely revamp industries and improve lives.
It has been an amazing journey that we’ve taken to arrive here. We have an incredibly bright future ahead. It will require us, as an organization, to be resilient and completely focused on the tasks at hand.
Original article, 07/19/18 at 6:53 a.m. ET: HTC’s financial struggles have been well-documented in recent years and it seems like the company’s woes are continuing as it will reportedly halt smartphone operations in India.
According to The Economic Times, citing three senior executives at the brand, HTC India’s top-level management team is leaving the company. The Taiwanese firm has also asked most of its 70-80 member Indian team to leave, the sources say. Exceptions are reportedly being made for a few employees, however, such as the chief financial officer.
It’s believed that the firm is also terminating distribution agreements in the country and that it owes money to at least one distributor.
An executive told the outlet that HTC isn’t exiting the Indian market completely, as it will still sell its Vive virtual reality headsets in the country. “This will be like an extremely small business,” the executive was quoted as saying.
Another source said the company might re-enter the market as an online exclusive brand (akin perhaps to Huawei’s Honor). This move will be contingent on the firm’s ability to revive its global sales, according to the source.
A company spokesperson confirmed the layoffs but said there were still over ten employees at the Indian office “providing full functionality.”
HTC’s sliding share of the pie
The news comes after the firm’s Indian market share plummeted in recent years. The firm’s Q1 2017 market share in the region was pegged at just 0.26 percent, according to a report last year. The report added that HTC’s Q1 2017 market share in the 50,000 rupees and higher (~$724) segment was 1.82 percent.
Furthermore, Cybermedia Research found that the Taiwanese brand was the biggest loser in India when it came to year-on-year growth from 2016 to 2017. While Xiaomi, iTel, LYF, and Vivo saw triple-digit figures for year-on-year growth, HTC dropped by 79 percent.
We’ve contacted the brand’s representatives for further comment on the matter and will update the story accordingly.