HTC talked up the benefits of cost savings in Q1, acknowledging it is “pinning a lot of hope” on a smartphone launch scheduled for next week.
The struggling Taiwan-headquartered smartphone maker is expected to unveil its 2017 flagship on 16 May, following rivals including Samsung, Xiaomi, LG and Sony, which have already shown their hands. Reports suggest HTC’s device will feature an innovative touch interface, with sensors around the body of the unit, which can be used to control functions.
In a conference call, Chialin Chang, president of HTC’s Smartphones and Connected Devices business unit, reiterated the company is looking to “make sure that we have continued traction in the flagship and premium” section of the market.
The vendor’s decision not to play in the lower cost segments of the smartphone market means it is unlikely to see a strong recovery in sales and volumes when compared to its heyday – although profitability will benefit.
HTC reported a loss of TWD2 billion ($66 million) for Q1 2017, reduced from TWD2.6 billion in the prior-year period, on revenue of TWD14.5 billion, down from TWD14.8 billion. Operating expenses were trimmed to TWD4.7 billion from TWD6.2 billion.
The company previously revealed sales for April 2017 – the first month of the second quarter – were down 18 per cent year-on-year to TWD4.7 billion.
HTC provided little additional detail on its Vive VR business. Chang said the development of the market, including the launch of 5G, stands to change the shape of the market.
“It’s our belief it will tie into not just the smartphones, it’s applications including virtual reality or mixed reality,” he said.