Smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電), which introduced the Android operating system to India, is now “fading away” from the world’s second-largest smartphone market, tech Web site Quartz India said on Monday.
Quartz India said in a report that HTC has laid off about 80 employees in India, including country head Faisal Siddiqui, sales head Vijay Balachandran and product head R. Nayyar, adding that it now has only 10 employees left.
“Android may rule 90 percent of the Indian smartphone market today, but the firm that introduced Indians to the operating system a decade ago has almost disappeared,” the Web site said in the report titled “The phone maker that introduced Android to India is fading away.”
The report came after HTC on July 2 announced that it would lay off 1,500 employees, or about one-quarter of its global payroll, by the end of September to optimize its resources through a “strategic adjustment of its workforce.”
Android smartphones have been welcomed by Indian consumers since HTC first introduced an Android-powered smartphone in India in 2009, Quartz India said.
Citing a CyberMedia Research survey conducted in February last year, the report said that HTC had the third-highest brand recall among Indian consumers, but data compiled by Counterpoint Research at the end of March found that HTC’s market share in India had fallen to almost zero.
“It has been an amazing journey we’ve taken to arrive here. We have an incredibly bright future ahead,” HTC said in a statement following the layoff of the 80 employees in India. “It will require us, as an organization, to be resilient and completely focused on the tasks at hand.”
HTC said it would continue to invest in India in the “right segment and in the right time,” the report said, adding that the firm would continue to extend its reach in virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
However, Quartz India expressed doubts about HTC’s strategy in India.
The Web site quoted market research firm International Data Corp senior analyst Jaipal Singh as saying that HTC did not have a good understanding of the Indian market.
“The Indian market is very dynamic and very competitive now. So if you want to be in India, you have to be aggressive,” Singh was quoted as saying. “Xiaomi Corp [小米] is very aggressive. Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp [歐珀] and Vivo Communication Technology Co [維沃] are going all-out to market their devices.”
However, “HTC has not been able to read the market. It has remained silent for a very long time. We haven’t heard much about its campaigns,” he was quoted as saying.
Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are three of the major Chinese smartphone brands.
Sanjay, a veteran sales manager at a smartphone store in New Delhi, told reporters that he had no clue why HTC, which has impressed Indian consumers, has not launched any large-scale marketing campaigns in the Indian city in a long time.
Over the past few months, no HTC phones have been put on sale at the store, Sanjay said.
In the first six months of this year, HTC’s consolidated sales totaled NT$15.56 billion (US$506.5 million), down 49.25 percent from the same period last year.
In the first quarter, HTC posted net profit of NT$21.1 billion, compared with a net loss of NT$9.8 billion in the prior quarter, with earnings per share of NT$25.70.
However, the first-quarter results, which ended 11 consecutive quarters of losses, were boosted by a deal in which the company sold its smartphone original design manufacturing assets to Google last year.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
EQUITIES TAIEX moves sharply higher The TAIEX moved sharply higher yesterday as buying focused on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) after a strong showing by its American Depositary Receipts overnight. However, the gains were capped after the benchmark index breached 13,000 points and ran into technical hurdles, prompting investors to turn cautious, dealers said. At the end of the session, the TAIEX was up 131.11 points, or 1.02 percent, at 12,976.76. Turnover was NT$206.328 billion (US$7.04 billion), with foreign institutional investors buying a net NT$18.47 billion in shares, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed. TSMC rose 2.92 percent to close at NT$458.