Tag: htc

HTC has announced its 10

htc-one-m10-concpetHTC has formally announced the release of its flagship smartphone for 2016.

The HTC 10 mixes the design of the M series with the A9 that came last year. HTC says it spent a year designing the 10.

The 10 has a 5.2-inch, quad HD Super LCD 5 display that HTC says displays 30 percent more colour than last year’s flavour. The screen is covered in Gorilla Glass with curved edges that blend into the phone’s metal frame.

It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM and there is 32GB of internal storage plus a MicroSD slot. HTC says it has optimized the 10’s software and hardware for faster touch response and the new phone is 50 percent more responsive than the M9. The 10’s 3,000mAh battery can go for two days of life thanks to software and hardware optimizations, and supports Quick Charge 3.0 through the phone’s USB Type-C port.

Looks wise it is similar to both the M9 and A9. It has HTC’s all-aluminium construction, with large chamfered edges and machined ports. Below the display is a fingerprint scanner flanked by two buttons for back and recent apps. This is a move away from the on-screen buttons HTC has used on its flagships for the past couple of years.

It doesn’t look like an iPhone, which is a bonus.

The 10’s rear camera has a 12-megapixel sensor behind an optically stabilized f/1.8 lens that should take better photos in low light. It’s accompanied by a dual-LED flash and second-generation laser autofocus system. The camera can also capture 4K video with 24-bit high resolution audio.

The 10’s front camera has also been upgraded to a 5-megapixel sensor with optically stabilized, f/1.8 wideangle lens (a first for front-facing cameras, according to HTC), that should make for better selfies in low light.

There is a high resolution audio system, with a headphone amp that can output twice as much power as other smartphones. The 10 can upscale audio to 24-bit quality. In the box with the phone are Hi-Res-certified earphones and HTC has partnered with JBL to produce a noise-cancelling set of headphones that are powered by the phone’s USB-C port. It can wirelessly play audio through AirPlay-certified speakers.

The software is closer to Google’s version of Android than HTC’s. The outfit said it worked with Google to reduce duplicative apps, and the 10 uses Google’s apps for key things such as calendar, photos, and music. It still uses HTC’s email, messaging, and camera apps, but the interface is more like a Nexus.

The phone ships next month for $699. It will be available in black and silver in the US, while global markets will see a gold option and Japan will get a special red colour.  HTC is offering preorders of an unlocked version of the 10 through its online store starting today.

Reality war virtually hotting up

virtual_0Samsung, Oculus and HTC are gearing up for a war on reality, well at least a virtual one.

Samsung has already launched its second-generation Gear VR device, priced at $99.99 globally along with a handheld controller, the rink, supporting the Gear VR by enriching its functionality.

HTC, which claimed earlier that 2016 will be marked as the initial year for its VR business operations, announced recently that it will begin receiving pre-sale orders for its HTC Vive in February and start delivering the device in April.

While Oculus has been taking pre-sale orders for its Oculus Rift since January 7, the vendor has yet to announce the availability of the VR device but it should be out soon.

As the three go head to head it looks like Samsung will be first out of the gate in terms of sales volume due to the price advantage of the Gear VR. Oculus and HTC are more likely to compete neck and neck for a while.

The Rift has the advantage as it supports Windows 10 and the Xbox. It is also focused on digital game applications. Gear VR is being used to support Samsung’s smartphones which is an interesting but much smaller market.

HTC is currently leading its VR rivals in hardware production, particularly the laser sensor incorporated in the device and the two joysticks for extra control for various applications, indicated the sources. In the end HTC might take control of the business VR sector.
The main driver for wide scale adoption of the technology is likely to be the software which is lacking. There are just so many times you can play demo software before it gets old hat.

HTC sells factory and land

HTC CEO Cher WangHTC will sell a building and land to Inventec for $174 million.

The troubled Taiwanese smartphone company told the Taipei Times the move was part of its plans to cut costs.

The factory and the land will be bought by Inventec but HTC insisted that the sale won’t affect the company’s ability to produce or to ship products.

People that worked at the factory, which is in Taoyuan, will keep their jobs but move to three other HTC facilities on the island.

The sale is expected to be complete in spring of 2016.

HTC had a troubled 2015, with consecutive losses in its first three financial quarters.

Lenovo to enter OEM mobile business

LENOVOA report said that Lenovo, which has considerable smartphone manufacturing facilities but has failed to make a major dent in the market, has decided to become an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and make its own.

A report from Digitimes, citing “industry sources” is integral to the restructuring of its smartphone business.

Lenovo is facing stiff competition from companies including Xiaomi and Huawei, the report said.

But the entry of Lenovo into manufacturing is likely to affect Taiwanese OEMs it had used before, including giant manufacturer Compal.

Most analysts believe that the smartphone market is pretty well saturated and faced with stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers, giants like Samsung and big outfits like HTC have felt the pain.

But if the reports are correct, it’s hard to see how Lenovo will turn the market round, particularly as manufacturing is rather top heavy at the moment.

Global smartphone sales falter

HTC smartphoneWhile sales of smartphones this year rose by 8.3 percent annually, there are clear signs that the boom times are over and the gravy train is slowing down.

A report from market research firm Trendforce predicted that 1.34 billion units will ship in 2016, and that will be an estimated 5.8 percent annual growth.

Avril Wu, Trendforce’s smartphone analyst, said: “The industry will not be able to deliver the same impressive results of the past years, when shipment increases were upwards of 30 percent. Smartphone growth is coming to a plateau.”

Even Apple will be affected by this shift, because Wu believes it will face only single digit growth in 2016. This isn’t just due to saturation, however, facing stiff competition from its rivals.

But Chinese brands will buck the trend, with shipment increases of “at least” 10 percent in 2016, said Wu. “They [the Chinese smartphone vendors] have shown themselves to be highly competitive, driving a new round of global industry restructuring as they steadily gain ground over other global brands, such as Microsoft, Sony and HTC.”

HTC lays off staff at factory

HTC CEO Cher WangTroubled smartphone manufacturer HTC will make 400 people redundant at its home facotry of Taoyuan by the end of October.

That follows a plan Cher Wang (pictured), CEO of HTC, announced last month.

She plans to slash as much as 15 percent of its staff worldwide, as part of a drastic restructuring at the company caused by lack of profits.

HTC, once a bright star in the smartphone firmament, has faced stiff competition from Apple and Samsung in recent years.

Local newspaper the Taipei Times said that the layoffs will affect five percent of 9,000 people that work at the factory.

HTC has vowed to turn the company round by focusing on making and selling top end smartphones and “lifestyle” products.

Separately, rival Samsung announced a revamped “smart” watch yesterday in a bid to grab some market share from leading wearables firm Apple.

HTC forced to axe jobs

HTC CEO Cher WangBeleaguered handset manufacturer HTC is taking steps to turn its business round by making 15 percent of its workforce redundant and introducing schemes to cut its operating costs by as much as 35 percent.

The Taiwanese firm currently employs over 15,000 employees worldwide and so will lose around 2,250 people, according to Digitimes.

HTC, as we’ve reported earlier, is to concentrate on making and selling high end smartphones, virtual reality gizmos and other products.

Digitimes quotes CEO Cher Wang as saying that HTC needs a flexible and dynamic team. Just recently HTC said it was likely to turn in a loss in its third financial quarter, following a loss it made in the second quarter.

It only managed to ship 5.4 million smartphones in the second calendar quarter of this year.

HTC has faced a battering from both Samsung and Apple which have immense marketing budgets worldwide, while the Taiwanese company doesn’t have very deep pockets.

Nokia prepares ground for smartphone return

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsFinnish company Nokia sold off its smartphone unit to Micosoft for billions in 2013 but it appears it will return to that market next year, demonstrating the wisdom of the adage “take the money and run”.

Nokia is in the process of hiring on social network site Linkedin, according to Reuters, and wants engineers and other people in its bid to return to the smartphone fold.

It has already introduced a tablet and also has introduced a virtual reality camera and it’s quite possible that it might make a successful re-entry into the smartphone world, where fortunes ebb and flow as fashion and marketing dollars dictate.

Witness, for example, the failure of Microsoft to make a go of the smartphone market, of Blackberry and more recently the poor performance of Taiwanese pioneer HTC.

There’s a lot to play for because now, as we reported last week, there’s hard evidence that smartphones and tablets are beating up PCs.

Nokia used to be in the PC market back in the late 1990s but beat a hasty retreat when it saw the writing was on the wall for niche PC builders.

HTC to axe jobs

Telephone BoxTaiwanese smartphone firm HTC is to make a significant number of layoffs as its results continued to disappoint.

The CFO, Chialin Chang, is reported to have described the job cuts as being across the board and it would continue to cut costs until the first calendar quarter of next year.

HTC was an early entrant to the smartphone business and at one time commanded considerable market share but could not compete with the massive marketing dollars Samsung and Apple hurled in everyone’s direction in recent years.

Chang said that HTC will also make a loss in the third quarter.

The company will now work on developing and selling high end smartphones rather than the low end, where it’s been hit hard by Chinese smartphone makers.

HTC spurns Asustek as suitor

Wedding - Wikimedia CommonsPhone company HTC has denied rumours that it is willing to be waltzed to the bridal suite after a marriage of convenience by giant Taiwanese firm Asustek.

Last week, Asustek chairman Jonney Shih hinted that his firm is interested in buying HTC, which has seen some tough times selling its smartphones over the last couple of years.

But HTC has now moved to squash the rumours, and told its investors that such a marriage wasn’t on the cards.

HTC said: “We strongly deny the news. We didn’t contact Asusteck (sic) and will not consider the acquisition. As an international brand, HTC will continue to design…. smart devices.”

That, of course, doesn’t mean that Asustek isn’t interested in the possibility. Nor does it mean that HTC will always spurn the advances of its Taiwanese competitor.

What it may mean is that Jonney Shih hasn’t bought a big enough diamond ring to woo the reluctant maiden.