After taking its fair share of lumps throughout 2013, HTC has a new strategy that it thinks can help reverse its recent decline in the mobile world. Speaking to the Financial Times, HTC CEO Peter Chou has revealed that he is temporarily offloading some of his duties to chairwoman Cher Wang so that he can focus more on product development. Wang will take on more responsibility when it comes to the company's sales, marketing and its relationships with suppliers.
"I have become very focused in the past couple of months. Before that I was too busy...I need to be more focused on innovation and [the] product portfolio," Chou explained. He went on to say that HTC's flagship One smartphone is doing well and that his company's market share losses are coming both at the entry-level and the mid-range. Chou intends to do something about that as part of his focus on products by refreshing HTC's lineup of midrange hardware.
Chou also touched a bit on HTC's relationships with other companies in the mobile segment. When asked about the rumors regarding an HTC-made Amazon smartphone, the CEO said that his firm his "always open to those kinds of opportunities" but that he couldn't talk about anything specific. He also touched a bit on Microsoft and Windows Phone, revealing that sales of HTC Windows Phone products have been "pretty small" and that HTC needs to figure out how it can position new Windows Phone hardware in the market.
Finally, Chou and Wang did a bit of teasing about HTC's plans for mobile hardware beyond smartphones. Chou told the FT that wearable technology, such as the smartwatches that we've seen from companies like Samsung and Pebble, is a "critical segment" that HTC is "excited about." However, the CEO was also tight-lipped about HTC's wearable tech plans, saying only that the segment is still in its early life and that there are too many "gimmick" products. The pair also suggested that we could see another HTC tablet at some point, with Wang teasing that such a device will be "nice and distruptive" when it's released.
The HTC One has fairly well-received by consumers and reviewers since its launch earlier this year, but the device hasn't been able to stop HTC from taking a tumble in the smartphone market. The company recently reported its first quarterly loss, and when you combine that with its legal woes and supply issues, it all adds up to what has been a pretty rough 2013 for HTC. We'll just have to wait and see if this new strategy will help change HTC's fortunes, but at this point I'm sure that the firm is willing to try just about anything to regain some of its former mobile glory.