HTC was the first to come out with an Android phone but even before that, it was already one of the top smartphone makers even before the word smartphone came to be. Along with Motorola and, to some extent Sony (back when there was a Sony Ericsson), it is one of the oldest phone makers still in business today. That, however, may not last long if its recent financial disclosure is anything to go by, revealing a decline that has been ongoing for eight street years now without any signs of stopping.
HTC continues to bleed and it’s bleeding profusely. According to its last monthly revenue report covering 2019, it only earned 10,015,000,000 NTD, roughly $334 million. That’s for the whole year, mind, and Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan puts it in a rather damning perspective.
Compared to 2018, HTC’s revenues dropped by 57.8%. Compared to 2017’s $2 billion, it’s a sharp 87% drop. That’s how close it is to passing the 100% mark by the end of this year. Its highest point, in comparison, was in 2011 when it passed 450,000 million NTD in revenues, around $15 billion.
HTC knows it messed up and newly-minted CEO Yves Maitre said as much. He admitted that the company squandered its lead and stopped innovating on the mobile front to focus on virtual reality. Unfortunately, these numbers aren’t just for smartphones but for everything HTC sells. That relatively more successful VR business isn’t enough to keep it from bleeding.
At this point, it is no longer certain what future HTC has left especially in the smartphone business. It has publicly committed to going back to flagships and has even teased a possible revival of a classic model. Whether it still has the resources to make that happen and stay its bankruptcy, however, is now highly debatable.