August 6, 2015 / 10:54 AM / in 2 years

Taiwan's HTC says to cut jobs, smartphone models to revive sales

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp said it would cut jobs and discontinue models as part of its strategy to focus on high-end devices to better compete with the likes of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.

Customers look at HTC smartphones in a mobile phone shop in Taipei July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

“The cuts will be across the board,” Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang told reporters after HTC reported a second-quarter loss and forecast another for the third-quarter. “They will be significant.”

Chang said the cost reductions would extend to the first quarter of next year, but declined to give further details.

A pioneer in early smartphones, HTC has been dismissed by industry watchers as confused, unoriginal and uncompetitive.

The company has been losing market share over the past few years, hit by intense competition at the high-end of the market from the likes of Apple and Samsung Electronics while budget Chinese rivals have also eclipsed its low-cost offerings.

HTC shares have fallen 51 percent so far this year. The stock closed 1.69 percent lower before the results were announced.

Chang said HTC was banking on selling high-end models in emerging smartphone markets such as India, where he said the company has a 20 percent market share of phones priced between $250-$400.

Analysts, however, are less optimistic, saying HTC is likely to continue to struggle for the next four quarters at least.

“We believe HTC will keep losing share in the smartphone market and will keep losing money,” analyst Calvin Huang with Taiwan’s SinoPac Securities wrote in a recent research note.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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