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HTC is laying off 1,500 employees from its manufacturing department

When it rains, it pours for HTC. Early in the morning on July 2, 2018, the company revealed that it was laying off 1,500 employees.

All of those 1,500 people (around 22% of HTC's entire workforce) come from HTC's manufacturing division in Taiwan, and HTC says that it made the decision as part of its ongoing quest to become profitable once again.

An event like this would be bad enough on its own, but if you've been following HTC for the past few months, you'll know that all of 2018 has been a rough one for the once-great Android giant.

Where does HTC go from here?

In mid-February, HTC's mobile president announced he was leaving to pursue a "personal career plan." Just a few days after that, it was reported that HTC had laid off up to 100 of its U.S.-based employees as part of the decision to merge the smartphone and VR divisions together under one umbrella.

As for the products HTC's been kicking out, it's been a mixed bag. The U12+ has the makings of a great Android phone, but the pressure-sensitive "buttons" that the phone uses results in an irritating user experience more times than not. The Vive Pro is undoubtedly one of the most powerful VR headsets you can buy right now, but at $799 for just the headset and none of the other required accessories, it's an incredibly tough purchase. Also, what the heck's going on with the blockchain phone?

HTC's not totally out for the count quite yet, but this most recent move sure doesn't leave a lot of hope for the company's future.

What do you think is going to happen to HTC?

HTC U12+ review: Buttonless blunder

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

33 Comments
  • They need to be bought by someone to stop them disappearing altogether. Maybe Google could buy the whole thing but I doubt it, they took what they needed last year. HTC could continue without a smartphone division maybe. But the loss of choice from the market makes us all poorer.
  • "The U12+ has the makings of a great Android phone, but the pressure-sensitive "buttons" that the phone uses results in an irritating user experience more times than not." ^^^Completely untrue. I've had no issues with the digital keys since I got the phone. I love how you guys keep saying this. It's nonsense. Why don't you guys take a look at your own forums once in a while and see that no other "non-reviewer" is experiencing this. None. You guys are full of $#!/ and only hampering someone elses views on the smart phone. Why don't you guys try actually not being biased.
  • It seems it's difficult for some reviewers to stay unbiased. But I agree alot of people read and listen to what is said here by the "pros" . I was a blackberry diehard but i can see the value and quality in other products when i see them. LG also takes alot of undeserved heat. I have a g5 that was a great device and did a very admirable job . Even now i find myself using it often . It's a quick device with a great camera and a removable battery . It's my phone of choice when travelling. I have had my galaxy devices have tons of QC issues over the years. But my problems dont seem justified. I had a galaxy s4 which was replaced 2 times due to faulty PCB charging ports. And melting my device where I lost all my personal data. I had a s6 edge that also had a charging issue. And overheating that eventually killed the phone. Not saying they are a bad manufacturer or anything. I know they make excellent devices . But when one OEM has an issue with one device and reviewers keep bringing up the past while reviewing a new phone it makes it tough to sell an otherwise excellent device. HTC has made some of the most premium, and solid devices i have ever owned. It's sad to see biased reviews help put the final nails in their coffins
  • The only way to be unbiased is to read the spec sheet.
  • Ry - that's not necessarily true either. The "bias" the guys above are talking about is when a reviewer treats one product completely different because they have a preference or a motive for promoting one over the other. This can be subtle, or downright blatant. What do you call it when two devices have the same design feature, and manufacturer A gets a knife in the back, but manufacturer B is given a pass? Mobile nations did exactly that, several times. Most famously was the U11 which was bashed and beat up for having moderate bezels, and Mr Mobile's title of "Dated" carried over to every reviewer that followed him. Then he reviewed other phones with bigger bezels, and hardly mentioned it. And now here we are with the U12 Plus which, if we do read the spec sheet, kicks the Pixel's and the Galaxy's behind in a lot of ways. And the only problem which they joyously found was the button calibration. Mr. Mobile led the charge and made little attempt to cover his ecstasy at finding fault, and this one fault became the headline and the core of the entire article. I spent hours scouring other reviews on the U12, and guess what. The buttons worked fine for the other major reviewers with very few exceptions. I know AC probably will not answer, but the question I have for Android Central is this: What is your sample size? I'm sincerely curious because that is exactly how AC defended Samsung products in the past when they failed testing. The reality of the button matter, is that the majority of other websites have said the buttons were fine and even "just right". As a matter of fact, the problem is pretty rare. It's certainly more rare than the crappy screens and Bluetooth problems on the Pixel, or initial camera problems on the essential (which they fixed), or dead touch response on the S9, or the BlackBerry Key1 screen falling out. You guys/gals heard of the inconsistent spacebar on the Key2? Probably not. No phone is perfect and every phone has it's faults. Android Central chooses what aspects they highlight for different brands. For example, for Samsung, they focus on the positives and dismiss the faults. If the review is for an HTC, they focus on the faults and dismiss the positives.
  • Going on the bezels example: Which same-year/generation (or post-U11) devices didn't get called out for having large bezels? Every reviewer is different, even if some think they're the same. And it's OK for some reviewers to point out the same things. Are you calling out Mobile Nation's review integrity? Seems like "bias" comes up when someone disagrees.
  • TBH you're just an HTC fanboy. The digital buttons don't work as well as regular buttons. That's been proven over and over again. Get over it...
  • Fanboy or not, I speak the truth. I haven't had a single issue in over a week.
  • blessedred - Regular buttons are digital buttons. The buttons on the U12 use analog sensors to trigger digital responses, but don't use a hole in the body. I can look up an FYI to explain how they work if you like.
    Problems with the new buttons are actually rare when you dive deeply into it. Most of the testers at Gsmarena actually liked them.
  • It's sad to see another OEM struggle in a market this size. The duopoly of Samsung and Apple are making it tough for others to keep up and without the budgets it's an even harder struggle to push otherwise brilliant devices off the shelves and into people's hands. Google is the only one i see for the foreseeable future to afford lower sales. And survive . Blackberry , HTC, the once almighty Motorola and even Nokia have seen the sunset on their glory days. And now it's just a matter of if they can even make a profit by staying in the game or is it time to pack up your bags and go back to mom's to recoup
  • Indeed, the duopoly has gone a tad too far. A couple years ago, we had multiple powerful OEMs (Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, Nokia...) that all mattered in the market. Fast forward to 2018, Nokia just returned from the dead, Sony managed to go out of the red after a while of trying, and LG and HTC are both in a bad situation. And to be fair, it's also partially the fault of portals like this, which discourage people from buying flagships other than Galaxy and Pixel with all tons of bs reasons (my U12+ buttons don't work well! Xperias have had the same design ever since 2010! G6 has an outdated chipset!). If the consumer sees every phone as flawed except S9/Pixel2/iPhone X, that's what they'll buy. Why would anyone buy a 'flawed' phone for top dollar? No wonder OEMs have problems keeping their business intact if they are forced to follow specific paradigm of 'flawlessness' (which is what caused Xperias to lose their iconic designs, LGs losing removable batteries, etc.).
  • I think the problem for HTC LG and Sony is they are judged against their peers.
    If you use all the available phones and then give your opinion on them you will always have winners and losers.
    Blaming the industry for preferring other makes doesn't change that.
    Samsung, never seem to "win" the mid and lower range phone reviews, because others do it better.
  • These phones aren't released in a vacuum.
  • Are you talking global or US? Sony hasn't been relevant in the US since they stopped making (great) non-smartphones with Ericsson for AT&T.
  • Referring to just US market I assume? It's not a duopoly outside of the US.
  • Can't see HTC surviving as a phone manufacturer.
    Think they should have done what Nokia appears to be doing very well and concentrate on mid range phones with good software.
    Moto are also selling phones by the truck load in Brazil, India and Europe by avoiding flagship type phones that go head to head with S series, iPhones ect.
  • Horrible customer service = no business These days I personally value companies that treat customers right.
  • I will be very surprised if HTC will be around next year at this time? I have always enjoyed their phones. But it appears they are in dire straits. I think Google should have purchased the entire company. I don't believe this is going to end well for them. 12 losing quarters & counting! A very sad story!
  • That sucks. :(
  • I have had every HTC device since the Eris up to the U11 and I switched to a Pixel 2 XL. It confirms my decision to dump HTC when i see the u12+ forums and see the same issues especially with Verizon use and activation popping up. HTC as much as I hate to say it, is dying a slow death.
  • Can someone please bring them to a pasture and end it please?
  • A one time very powerful OEM reduced to rubble. A once resourceful company cannot exist in this very competitive market. Mis-managed, so who is the blame? Their CEO & founder Cher Wang & upper management. You can't compete in this market without carrier support & proper advertising. Isn't 12 losing quarters enough proof? The U12+ may be a good phone but will it be HTC'S saviour, of course not. They are past the point of no return. This is a crying shame. It appears the smartphone world has passed them by! I remember when the HTC 10 was suppose to save them as a company. That didn't work out to well. Especially when carrier's started to drop the 10 due to lack of sales. That was actually the beginning of the end!
  • They were never as relevant as BlackBerry, Nokia, and Motorola. Powerful? Not really.
  • Then you might want to relook up their history, they single handedly took over the Windows market and kick started the Android market. They ruled it all the way thru to the HTC Evo, the 1st of the 4g phones which sold almost 7 million units alone. They were relevant before Moto even decided to try the Moto x line, before Samsung brought the Galaxy to market, and way before Nokia jumped into bed with Microsoft. That's not even including the white labelled units pre dating HTC branding their own units.
  • I know my mobile history. HTC could never solidify an identity when they decided to be more than just a white label partner. Motorola was always relevant as the inventors of the cell phone and remained relevant long before the original Moto X In their Windows Mobile days, they weren't even dominant. Palm, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Samsung were the real players. Evo 4G? Carrier help. But that carrier help was never Motorola and Verizon DROID levels. HTC was never this big player people think they were. They were never going to outsmart, nor outsell, nor out-innovate Apple and Samsung. Their pockets weren't deep enough. They were just a white label that tried to make a name for themselves but never solidify a niche with carriers. US market? They got replaced by ZTE. And now their on no carriers while LG, Motorola, and ZTE (for now) are on carrier shelves.
  • Dear Lord what drivel... You just proved to me you have no clue. I literally worked in the industry 20 years. I know the sales numbers even and the release dates. You are so far off it's not even funny. How embarrassing for you.
  • I used to love HTC in their glory days. Their take on Android and build quality were second to none. Unfortunately, I don't see them being around much longer.
  • Yep!
  • Their prices as well, they might be affordable in the US but here in South Africa, their phones would arrive 3 months after their release elsewhere, and they cost a lot of money, more than the S and Note line, which also means more than iPhones.
  • Doesn't look good for the best phone you can buy.... lol
  • Bummer.
  • That stinks. Htc phones have been the most reliable for me and lasted the longest and I've had quite a few iPhones and Samsung's to compare to. The iPhone was close with longevity but samsungs (for me) never seemed to last that long I'll def miss htc phones if they disappear.
  • HTC is officially dying, do I feel bad for them? Not in the slightest, they made poor business decisions and are paying the price for them. Someone better will take their place. They haven't had a decent phone since the M8 IMO and while it's sad to see what is happening to them, they brought it on themselves.