HTC chairwoman and chief executive officer Cher Wang (王雪紅) yesterday apologized to shareholders for the company’s disappointing performance over the past few months.
Wang said HTC’s performance was mainly due to its poor operational efficiency and overly conservative marketing strategy amid fierce competition in the global market.
“HTC’s recent performance has let people down,” Wang said at the company’s annual general meeting.
Wang’s apology came a day after HTC’s stock price dropped below NT$100 to a 12-year low of NT$98. Shares stood as high as NT$1,300 on April 1, 2011.
This year’s HTC flagship One M9 smartphone, which was launched in April, was criticized for lacking differentiation from its previous model, the One M8. The smartphone also encountered thermal issues causing shipment delays after its sales launch.
In an effort to improve the company’s smartphone segment, HTC’s core business, Wang said the company plans to launch a “hero product” in October, and make significant improvements in innovation and design for the next flagship model next year.
The company is also planning to improve its product mix strategy for smartphones, she added.
Wang said HTC would reduce its production costs by improving production efficiency as well as optimizing its components supply chain, adding that it would also outsource some orders to increase operational flexibility.
Saying that the marketing budgets of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co are 20 times higher than HTC’s, Wang said the firm must improve its marketing strategies.
Chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) said that HTC increased research and development investment by 4 percent annually to NT$13 billion (US$419.33 million) last year, while its marketing expenses dropped 19.26 percent to NT$26 billion from a year ago.
HTC does not sell well using conventional marketing strategies, Wang said, adding that it would not renew US actor Robert Downey Jr’s contract after this year, but that it would keep working with the popular Taiwanese rock group Mayday (五月天).
In an attempt to develop new business, HTC would develop virtual reality applications, such as the HTC Vive virtual reality headset that it developed with US-based game developer Valve, Wang said.
Wang said that the HTC Vive, which was unveiled at the annual World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in March, has been well-received by the market and that the company would focus on virtual reality development.
“I am upbeat about HTC’s outlook. We aim to focus on developing the right products,” Wang said.
The company has not announced a launch date for the Vive.
At an investors’ conference in February, Chang said that HTC hopes the non-smartphone segment can contribute at least 10 percent of the firm’s total revenues next year.
HTC’s shares closed up 0.51 percent at NT$98.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, while the TAIEX lost 0.12 percent.
With the speed cryptocurrency is emerging as the millennial generation’s alternative asset of choice in India, it is hard to imagine that just two years ago a couple of blockchain pioneers were briefly in police custody. Sathvik Vishwanath and Harish BV, cofounders of a then five-year-old start-up, were arrested in late 2018. No, they had not pulled off a shady initial coin offering. Their “crime” was that they put up a kiosk in a mall in Bangalore where customers could swap bitcoin, ether or ripple for cash or vice versa. That was the whole point of unocoin, their crypto token exchange.
A Chinese factory owned by South Korean semiconductor giant SK Hynix Inc yesterday halted operations after a plant worker was found to have an asymptomatic infection of COVID-19, Xinhua news agency reported. The South Korean worker based at the plant in Chongqing since February had departed on Thursday for South Korea, Xinhua reported. He was tested at Incheon Airport in Seoul and confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, it reported. All factory staff as well as staff and recent guests at the hotel where the worker lived have been isolated and given nucleic acid tests, the agency said. “We’re cooperating with the local government
FIVE NEW FABS: An acquisition of Siltronic would boost GlobalWafers’ market share from 17 to 30 percent, easily surpassing Japanese rival Sumco’s 25 percent GlobalWafers Inc (環球晶圓) yesterday said it is in final talks to acquire Germany-based Siltronic AG in a 3.75 billion euro (US$4.5 billion) deal, which might help it compete with its closest rival Sumco Corp of Japan. The acquisition would be the fifth for GlobalWafers since 2008, as it has grown to become the world’s No. 3 supplier of silicon wafers through such deals. GlobalWafers, which has a 17 percent market share, would see its market position greatly elevated to 30 percent when combined with Siltronic’s 13 percent, according to a presentation Siltronic gave to its investors at a quarterly conference in August. Sumco
A year of crisis for the lira has kept people in Turkey buying gold at a record pace. Now the appetite for more bullion risks becoming a drag on the currency just as a rally struggles to regain momentum. In the two weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cleared out the leadership ranks blamed for failing to stabilize the lira and draining reserves, Turkish retail investors and firms added US$2.2 billion to their gold holdings, taking them to US$36.4 billion, or almost triple the total last year, Turkish central bank data showed. People are not relenting in their zeal to own