HTC has struggled enormously in recent years. Although it shifted to virtual reality products to regain its edge, it has already lost 5 times of its capital stock, or roughly NT$ 41 billion, in the past three years . Analysts say HTC's smartphones are no longer able to compete with international brands, and if it doesn't reduce its workforce, its losses will only continue to expand.
HTC invited Taiwanese band Mayday to help promote its new smartphone. Despite the celebrity endorsement, HTC's phone sales remained low.
The company has found it hard to compete with Apple and Samsung, and even China's Xiaomi and Oppo. In recent years, its phone production volume diminished, forcing the company to lay off 15 percent of its workforce around the world in 2015. In 2017, HTC sold its Pixel smartphone subcontracting unit to Google. On July 2, the news emerged that HTC was laying off 1,500 employees in its Taiwan manufacturing division. The company's share price immediately fell once trading opened on July 3. The price fell to NT$53.7, or a decrease of 5 percent. This was the lowest value since October 2015.
Its space to exist became relatively limited following the rise of Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Moreover, its shipment volume fell with each passing year.
During HTC's peak years, its annual revenues surpassed NT$200 billion. By 2017, its revenues had fallen to NT$62.12 billion. HTC Chairperson Cher Wang recently said during a shareholders meeting that she is confident the company will be profitable this year.
Analysts say the mass layoff is equivalent to the company announcing that it will no longer manufacture smartphones. They say the only way for HTC to turn deficits into surpluses is to transfer its smartphone brands to subcontractors and focus on augmented reality and virtual reality products.