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HTC plans to return to tablets and launch wearables as it shifts management duties

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday October 21, 2013.

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HTC CEO Peter Chou and Chairwoman Cher Wang have revealed that big changes are afoot at HTC. In addition to announcing that Chou will hand over some duties to Wang, the executives all but confirmed that HTC will sell a new tablet for the first time since 2011.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Chou and Wang revealed that HTC is examining new ways to rebound from a bad run of critical acclaim but declining consumer interest. When the topic of tablets and wearable devices, like smart watches, came up, HTC confirmed that the company is taking an interest in both markets, and hinted that it has products in development. Wang said:

"When the [HTC] tablet comes out it will be something nice and disruptive. There are a lot of devices to innovate...Ubiquitous intelligence is not just wearables."

Wang's use of the word "will" is a clear sign that HTC has renewed interest in tablets. The company was rumored to have a Windows RT tablet in development that was never released, but HTC is likely developing a Windows RT or Android tablet at the moment that could have a unique selling point. If and when it is released, it would be the first tablet HTC released since its disappointing Flyer and Jetstream Android tablets.

Tablets are part of a larger plan to shake-up HTC. The company is also toying with the idea of smart watches because wearable technology is "a critical segment for us," according to Chou. However, HTC is hesitant to release a me-too timepiece because Chou views current devices as "gimmicks" that don't meet a specific need or possess style. The company also has plans to release more midrange smartphones as a way to regain market share. Chou contends that the HTC One sales are fine but have not been good enough to offset the decline in overall sales.

The many new projects have caused Peter Chou to transfer some of his CEO responsibilities to Chairwoman Wang so he can focus on products. Wang will take charge of sales, marketing, and logistics while Chou pays more attention to product. The shift in duties will need to yield results soon if HTC hopes to turnaround its sales slump. HTC recently reported a quarterly loss for the first time in 13 years.

source: Financial Times (Paywall)

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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