HTC Company Brief

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Company Brief

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021186

Publication Date: 2111

Report Type: VENDOR


HTC is a Taiwan-based mobile device maker best known for its smartphone line.
Founded in 1997 by Cher Wang, H. T. Cho, and Peter Chou, the company began as a manufacturer of notebook computers. HTC’s real rise
started when it shifted
its focus to mobile phones, but then lost market share as Apple and
Samsung began to dominate the smartphone market. In 2017, Google announced that it would purchase part
of HTC’s smartphone team of employees and use of the company’s intellectual
property licenses for $1.1 billion. Although it continues to be a presence in
the phone market, releasing budget devices in Russia and Korea, HTC has started
focusing on other technologies
– including virtual reality and blockchain phones – in an effort to
return to profitability.

Report Contents:


Fast Facts

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Name: HTC
No. 23, Xinghua Road
Taoyuan District, Taoyuan City 330
Phone: +886-3-3753252
Fax: +886-3-753251
Type of
Mobile Device Manufacturer
Founded: 1997
Service Areas:
Stock Symbol: 2498 (TWSE)


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Although HTC was founded in 1997 as a manufacturer of notebook
computers, the company found its greatest – if short lived – success as a maker of mobile
devices. After transitioning to the mobile device market, co-founders Cher Wang, H. T. Cho, and Peter Chou quickly found a niche for the company
as a producer of carrier-branded phones. While the HTC name rarely, if
ever, appeared on these early devices, the company was given the freedom
to develop largely in anonymity. This resulted in HTC achieving numerous
world firsts, such as the first Microsoft Wireless Pocket PC, the first
Microsoft powered smartphone, and the first Microsoft 3G phone. However,
despite these accomplishments, HTC remained a relatively unknown entity among the
general public, especially in the US. It was not until the company
joined the Open Handset Alliance and became one of the first
manufacturers of phones based on a fledgling platform known as Android
that HTC would reach a level of success and brand recognition.

HTC cemented its position as a major player in the smartphone
market by releasing the HTC Hero, its first self-branded Android device
and the first device to feature its now famous HTC Sense interface, a
UI overlay designed to make Android more user-friendly and visually
attractive. In 2011, HTC was named the Device Manufacturer of the Year
by the GSM Association.

Since late 2011 when the company claimed about 11 percent of smartphone sales
worldwide, HTC has watched demand for its smartphones shrink exponentially. Thus, HTC
has begun reinventing itself with new offerings over the past few years,
shifting its attention to developing virtual reality headsets such as the
Vive lineup.

Although it has not abandoned the phone market entirely, in 2017 Google acquired approximately
half of HTC’s
smartphone team as well as non-exclusive use of the company’s phone-based intellectual
property in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. About 2,000 HTC
employees moved over to Google – many of whom were already ready working on
the HTC-built Google Pixel smartphones.

In addition to its virtual reality offerings, in 2019 HTC became the
first company to launch a “blockchain phone,” called Exodus 1. The device, which could only be purchased with cryptocurrency, has its own crypto wallet called Zion to make the phone function as a hardware crypto wallet.
A secure area in the phone’s
Arm chip – kept separate from the phone’s Android operating system – prevents HTC from accessing information
in the wallet. HTC promotes the Exodus line as a
way to not just hold and trade crypto but to store personal information more
securely. It remains to be seen if Exodus will lead HTC out of the
smartphone wilderness or if the technology will prove more successful for
other manufacturers as has been the case with previous HTC developments.

Key Executives

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HTC is managed by the following individuals: 

  • Chair and CEO: Cher Wang
  • Director: H.T. Cho
  • Director: Wen-Chi Chen
  • Director: David Bruce Yoffie

Major Products

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HTC has been primarily known for its smartphones. The company can claim
many industry firsts from the color palm-sized PC in 1999 to the Microsoft
wireless Pocket PC in 2002 to the 2008 launch of T-Mobile’s Android device. Since
then, however, it has increasingly lost its once sizable market share in the
Android environment not only to Samsung but to companies such as Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi,
and Asus who aim to fill the smartphone need in lower- and
mid-priced segments.

The firm has since turned its attention to specialized market offerings such as virtual
reality headsets and, in an industry first, a “blockchain phone” capable of
storing and trading cryptocurrency.

HTC’s products are depicted in Table 1.

Table 1. HTC
Smartphone Description
HTC Smartphones Within the HTC smartphone product line are the following
offerings released since 2020.

  • Wildfire E3
  • Desire 21 Pro 5G
  • Desire 20+
  • Wildfire E2
  • Wildfire E1 Lite
  • U 20 5G
  • Wildfire R70
  • Desire 20 Pro
HTC Vive Vive is a virtual reality
headset connected to a PC via a link box or to an Android smartphone. It allows a 360-degree room scale

  • Vive Cosmos Elite
  • Vive Cosmos
  • Vive Flow
  • Vive Focus 3
  • Vive Focus Plus
  • Vive Focus
  • Vive Pro 2
  • Vive Pro Eye
  • Vive Pro
HTC Cryptophone In 2019, HTC debuted the
first "blockchain phone" allowing users to store and trade
cryptocurrency on their mobile device.

  • Exodus 1s
  • Exodus 1
HTC Smart Devices HTC offers the following
compact mobile hotspot connector suitable for home or office use.

  • HTC 5G Hub


Major Competitors

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Although there are a variety of vendors in the smartphone arena, HTC’s
biggest competitive threats have traditionally come from Apple and Samsung who dominate the market.
Included in the below list are several other manufacturers who compete with HTC
as it shifted its focus to the mid- and lower-priced device segments.









Recent Activity

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In April 2021, HTC launched the first public 5G network in its home base of Taiwan. Working with
the Kaohsiung City Government, the 5G Standalone Architecture Private Network and Edge Cloud VR Solution
was installed in Kaohsiung’s ‘KOSMOSPOT x VIVELAND’ development zone. The network is based on HTC’s enterprise-class 5G Standalone Architecture Network (SA) technology
with advanced and complete
end-to-end enterprise private network solutions. These were combined with HTC’s remote streaming software
platform and management services, edge computing technology, 5G networking software that meets open
architecture standards, a full set of highly secure network protection mechanisms, and an extensive range
of XR service solutions that can achieve high transmission, low latency, and wide connectivity. HTC and
Kaohsiung intend the project to allow companies to build up a high-speed, stable, and safe 5G corporate
environment to improve operational performance and provide employees with factory education simulation
training, VR multi-player education, implementation and collaborative cloud management education systems, and more.

After less than one year on the job, CEO Yves Maitre stepped down in
September 2020, citing personal reasons. According to a statement issued by the
company, "The strict international travel restrictions due to the ongoing
COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted the lives of millions as well as business
globally, have had an impact on [HTC’s] CEO, Yves Maitre, in reconciling work and family. Today, the Board of Directors
accepted Yves’ resignation for personal reasons." Company co-founder Cher Wang, who
stepped down as CEO and assumed the role of chair
when Maitre was named CEO, resumed the CEO position while retaining her


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