HTC may be making plenty of positive headlines with its Vive virtual reality headset, but the company’s latest earnings report shows that it’s still struggling to compete with Apple and Android devices in the smartphone market, as the Taiwanese firm posted its fourth consecutive quarter of losses.
Compared to the same period last year, HTC’s sales were down 64 percent to 14.8 billion Taiwanese dollars (US $460 million) from NT $41.8 billion (US $1.29 billion). Profits, meanwhile, fell 78 percent from NT $8.2 billion (US $250 million) to NT $1.8 billion ($60 million).
It’s worth mentioning that the Vive isn’t included in the company's figures for the quarter, neither is the new HTC 10. But the report is still bad news for HTC, which will now be hoping that its VR device and flagship smartphone can turn around its ailing fortunes.
"The media and consumer buzz around HTC, including for the keenly-awaited launches of the flagship smartphone and Vive virtual reality system, clearly demonstrate our leadership in innovation and have provided a great boost to the HTC brand," said Cher Wang, chairwoman and chief executive of HTC in a statement.
HTC’s Cheif Financial Officer, Chialin Chang, said it will “trim expenses” as it attempts to lower operating costs. The company recently sold off some land and is continuing to invest heavily in the Vive.
“HTC has seen strong launches in early Q2 ’16 for both the new flagship smartphone, the HTC 10, and the HTC Vive virtual reality system and anticipate good momentum over the year,” the company wrote in its earnings report.“HTC will continue to streamline processes and optimize resources to develop products in the most effective way.”
As noted by the BBC, it was only five years ago when HTC was ranked as the fourth best-selling smartphone maker in the world, with a market share of around 9 percent. Today, it sits in 17th place and holds a 1 percent share of the market, according to research group IDC.