Could this be the sign of HTC slowly winding down on its smartphone business? According to a report citing industry sources, the Taiwanese company will be limiting the number of phones it will be releasing next year. But in addition to reflecting the company’s continuing struggles in the smartphone market, it could also be reflecting HTC’s substantial loss of resources, particularly human resources, after Google acquired a significant number of employees from HTC’s mobile division.
This unverified report is somewhat interesting on many levels. For one, HTC didn’t actually release that many smartphones in 2017, at least not compared to its glory days. There were as few as six models this year, not counting variants or market-specific models, with the U series taking up the bulk.
Limiting its output could put it at launching at least two, maybe four, models in 2018. This could mirror the launch strategies of smaller companies like OnePlus. Either way, it doesn’t spark much confidence in HTC’s longevity as far as smartphones go.
That, however, might actually be what HTC wants anyway. It has been long rumored to be mulling over selling its mobile business, leaving it free to focus on a more lucrative, at least for now, VR market. Most expected Google to be that buyer but the two might have worked out a strategy that would lessen regulation requirements and government scrutiny.
That said, there are already two HTC phones expected for 2018, one even as early as January. That would be a mid-range variant of the HTC U11+. The timeline for the company’s next flagship, for now known as the HTC U12, is still unknown.