HTC to cut 15 percent of workforce as it revamps to focus on 'connected lifestyle' devices

HTC aims to cut operating expenses by 35 percent while creating new units to focus on wearables, premium smartphones and virtual reality gear.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

HTC said it will cut 15 percent of its workforce as it struggles with sales declines amid competition in the smartphone market.

On Thursday, HTC said it will restructure, cut expenses by 35 percent and refocus on new businesses.

HTC added in a statement that it will create new units to focus on "premium smartphones, virtual reality, and connected lifestyle products." HTC has a fitness tracker called the Grip and recently launched earphones, but has struggled with the launch of its M9 One smarpthone.

Previously: HTC shares crash, "brand, factories and buildings were worthless" | HTC announces NT$8 billion loss for second quarter of 2015 | Why the HTC Grip fitness tracker was put on hold

Investors have lost confidence in HTC. The company's market capitalization only accounts for its cash position. That reality means that investors are valuing HTC's core business and infrastructure as worthless.

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Cher Wang, CEO of HTC, said the company can rebound with its "unique blend of expertise in hardware and software integration, advanced technology and world-class design." However, the company needs to diversify into the "connected lifestyle space."

On the surface, HTC's restructuring makes sense. The catch is that the connected lifestyle market---wearables and such---is likely to see the same cutthroat competition. The wearable market will be due for a shakeout just as HTC is joining the party. Related: Fitbit: Can it make the business-to-business, software platform turn?

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