HTC recently reported its seventh consecutive quarterly loss which seems to have forced the company to streamline its product portfolio. A new report says that the Taiwanese handset maker will exit the entry-level smartphone market going forward. The company however plans to support existing affordable smartphones, and even "sell that are already in the channel."
Corroborating earlier rumours, Phonescoop reports HTC will reduce the total number of smartphones in its 2017 lineup to six or seven. HTC is further said to focus on profitability in its handset business moving forward with major stress on the mid-range as well as high-end phones.
Further, the report says that HTC will focus on its smartphones on "high-margin devices." The Taiwanese company reportedly confirmed the details in a conference call with media to discuss worse than expected fourth-quarter results. The company's much-anticipated virtual reality headset HTC Vive has also failed to take off.
HTC says the increased competition in the affordable segment is one of the reasons behind its decision to drop from the low-cost smartphones market. Chinese handset manufacturers have been dominating several markets including India. According to IDC, the Indian smartphone market in the Q4 2016 saw Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo, and Vivo making it to the top five with Samsung still leading the market.
Last month, HTC's President of Smartphones said that the company will focus on its "smartphones' core features" in an attempt to compete against other handset vendors. Chialin Chang, President of Smartphone and Connected Devices Business added that HTC will unveil six to seven smartphones in 2017.
The Taiwanese company has so far unveiled two new devices - HTC U Ultra and U Play - in the company's brand new U series this year. The biggest highlight of the new smartphones is the new Sense Companion, which is an AI-based system that learns the user's daily patterns to provide usage recommendations. The smartphone are expected to hit market shelves in India in March.