HTC Corp (TPE:2498) (OTCMKTS:HTCXF) cut dozens of jobs in the U.S. on Friday, in what has been described as “a decisive action by HTC Corp (U.S.) to streamline and optimize our organization and improve efficiencies after several years of aggressive growth,” reports Ina Fried for AllThingsD.
Job cuts made by HTC
More than 30 people have lost their jobs—none of them executives—but the overall workload for U.S. offices will remain the same. “This is a hard decision that has direct impact on people who have contributed to the growth HTC has experienced the past several years,” the company’s statement continued.
HTC Corp (TPE:2498) (OTCMKTS:HTCXF) has had a rough year. In July its stock price had its sharpest drop since late 2005, reducing the company’ market value by $395 million. At the time, Credit Suisse lowered its price target for HTC by more than a third, while Morgan Stanley criticized it for missing a big opportunity with the underwhelming HTC One.
HTC leaks pictures of a gold smartphone
Since then, HTC Corp (TPE:2498) (OTCMKTS:HTCXF) has leaked pictures of a gold smartphone that brought immediate comparisons to the gold iPhone 5S coming later this year, and launched a new an ad campaign with Robert Downey Jr, but August numbers continued to disappoint. While HTC is in a booming market, it is increasingly turning into an also-ran against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (and to some extent Microsoft). Official product announcements are coming this quarter, and it would be a shame if they are just more of the same – or even worse if they smack of desperation, bringing on a round of derision in addition to bad reviews.
Even though HTC Corp (TPE:249 8) (OTCMKTS:HTCXF) may not regain its status as a major smartphone player, it could still find a profitable niche, and the departure of Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera earlier this year signals that the company may be looking to move in a new direction. HTC uses Android, so it doesn’t have to worry about the double-edged nature of a proprietary OS like BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), but it should still take note of what happens when a smartphone company falls out of favor. With so many options, it doesn’t take that many missteps to pull a company under.