Wang Congqing, who was responsible for HTC's VR business in China, stood in front of the stage and raised U12+ in his hands to officially release the latest flagship in 2018 to mainland China. At this time, the VR business after three years has finally come together with the mobile phone business.
Left hand holding U12+ right hand holding the latest HTC VR device HTC China Wang Congqing
A month later, HTC experienced another layoff. This time, the tentacles extended to HTC's hometown of Taiwan. After shrinking 1,500 people, HTC has only 5,000 people left in the world.
No one ever thought that 21 years ago, "born", Taiwan's HTC, once everyone set an example for it, and now it is in trouble.
Twenty-one years ago, Taiwan was still an era with foundry as its core industry. Zhuo Huo Tu, Wang Xuehong, and Zhou Yongming also want to catch up with “the foundry tide” and co-founded HTC Electronics, which is what we often call HTC. The origin of the name is very simple, created with the English initials of this flaming land. For Wang Xuehong, HTC is another “trust”, which is that she has just paid Intel to pay up to 220 billion yuan to find new opportunities for expansion.
Left is Zhou Yongming, right is Wang Xuehong
HTC has taken a fancy to the PDA market compared to Taiwanese factories that manufacture and process notebook brands from around the world. In the era when mobile communications were still underdeveloped, major factories were dismissive of producing PDAs. However, this also laid the foundation for HTC's future mobile market.
The main focus of HTC is on PDAs equipped with Windows CE system and Palm system. Due to the underdeveloped mobile communication industry and the complicated operating system structure, the PDA market has never been on the mainstream stage.
iPAQ Pocket PC
In 2000, the company and Compaq launched the Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC (who was acquired by Hewlett-Packard after the acquisition of Compaq), and HTC quickly became the world's largest PDA foundry.
HTC O2 is also called Wallaby
In addition to the iPAQ Pocket PC, HTC also launched its first PDA product ——Wallaby. Also using the Windows Pocket PC operating system, which is sold under different names in several countries, is also the first Windows PDA & mdash; — Dopod 686 in China.
At this time, HTC has already cooperated deeply with Microsoft to become the top producer of Windows mobile phones. HTC produces a mobile phone share of up to 80% on the Windows Mobile platform.
In addition, HTC has a skill in operators, and cooperates with British Telecom O2 and French telecom operator Orange to launch customized mobile phones. It is also based on such an opportunity. More and more operators are starting to cooperate with HTC, the number is over 50. Family.
As a result, the HTC's macro screen is opened. . . . . .
Forerunner of Windows Mobile
As the advantages of foundries become smaller and smaller, HTC thought of pushing its own brand. As I said just now, HTC has a close cooperation with Microsoft, so the first turnaround is ——HTC Diamond.
Just like the product name, the HTC Diamond looks like a diamond in its multi-cut surface, and the Windows Mobile system is also a model for smartphones at the time. After the launch of HTC Diamond, the response was enthusiastic, and HTC made a shot in the arm after the transition from the foundry to the independent brand.
Wang Xuehong smells the business opportunities of the future, betting Android
As the daughter of Wang Yongqing, the god of Taiwanese business, Wang Xuehong’s economic mind began to smell the prospects of the mobile market. This time she bet on Android. Without Android, Wang Xuehong will not become the richest man in Taiwan, nor will she have her scenery in 2012.
In the second year after the launch of the first iPhone, HTC and the telecom operator T-Mobile launched the world's first Android phone, also known as HTC G1. This product is not only the magic weapon of HTC bet, but also the pioneering work of Android system. The large screen, full keyboard and side slide cover design allow many users to choose before the iPhone and Android phones.
The real glorious moment of HTC began with the release of the third generation G3 Hero. This small, chin-proof phone supports multi-touch and is equipped with a 360-degree trackball built into the body.
This is HTC Sense developed over several generations, you must be familiar with this interface.
On the system side, an HTC Sense desktop is also customized based on Android. This is the world's first "desktop", the page turning clock, the moving weather component let "beauty" into the phone, Xiaomi's "MIUI" is also a full year later than HTC .
The birth of G3 made the mobile phone of Saipan system and Windows Mobile system face. The easy-to-use operating system and multi-touch screen let users know for the first time. In addition to iPhone, mobile phone can also be like this.
The brilliant era of HTC's Android phone is officially opened, and the products launched are like spring bamboo shoots. G4 Tatoo, G7 desire, almost every paragraph is explosive, and even Google's first pro-son Nexus One is based on HTC G5.
From 2008 to 2012, HTC released more than 50 products including Windows Mobile phones, and Apple only released 5 iPhones.
HTC's custom products
HTC's global sea-going tactics have indeed brought about an increase in volume and sales volume, while in-depth cooperation with operators and social software while launching independent products. For example, at the time, HTC in China had cooperated with Sina Weibo, and the mobile phone could be sent to Weibo with one click.
The two years of 2010-2011 were the most glorious era of HTC, after market research firm Canalys showed that HTC had become the top spot in the US market, selling 5.7 million smartphones in the United States.
In the global market, HTC sales increased by 115% compared with the same period last year, reaching 12.7 million units, ranking fourth in the third quarter of 2011, after Samsung, Apple and Nokia.
In the same year, Wang Xuehong and her husband Chen Wenqi were honored as “the richest man in Taiwan” and realized the transcendence of his father Wang Yongqing. For a time, “the birth of a woman like Wang Xuehong” was spread throughout the island.
At this time, the HTC is experiencing its highest point, bathing in the sunshine that breaks through the clouds and enjoying the joy of victory. As everyone knows, a storm is coming quietly.
HTC, which embraces US carriers, regards the US market as the most important battlefield, with a market share of 25%. However, similar to the situation of VIA, which was previously acquired by Wang Xuehong, HTC also received Apple's patent block in the US, which was seriously damaged in business. .
ZTE and operators cooperate with mobile phones
The attitude of US carriers is also changing, and HTC is no longer fragrant. For example, this ZTE-produced smartphone, the same system and the same configuration price is only controlled at around 1,000 yuan. This also means that large screen, megapixel camera is no longer exclusive to high-end products such as HTC.
Later, Huawei and Coolpad and other major products with cost-effective products poured into the US market and entered the arms of operators. At this time, HTC, which has been working with operators for many years, is losing its advantages.
Xiaomi, who started MIUI, started to get involved in hardware.
At the other end of the globe, Xiaomi, who started from MIUI, also started to make hardware ideas. The first price was not more than 2,000 yuan, and there was a very cost-effective mobile phone. At the same time, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE were also consuming the mobile phone market.
At this time, the competitiveness of its flagship mobile phone has also shown a downward trend. In 2012, Apple introduced the newly designed iPhone 5, and Samsung also turned over to the Galaxy S3, and the limelight overshadowed Apple. At this point, HTC One X did not defeat the first two.
Wang Xuehong, who is the richest man in Taiwan on HTC, did not expect that after a year of peaking, there would be a decline in profits and a loss. I don't know that even greater difficulties are still in front of her.
In spite of the losses, the number of products that can be launched, HTC still has an advantage. The tactics of the sea tactics make HTC machines more and more, the ambiguous product positioning and crowd, the high price and low allocation strategy makes HTC lose users. . In the same period, Samsung has launched two S/Note product lines for different user groups, and the clear product positioning has satisfied different consumers. The gap between HTC and Samsung is growing.
The dragon series featuring Chinese operators
Since then, HTC has announced that it will abandon the sea tactics and take the boutique route. During the MWC 2012, it was announced that it launched the “Dragon” series of mobile phones for the mainland. At that time, Ren Weiguang, the president of HTC China, said that the “Dragon” series is a customized product for Chinese operators, and the price is more advantageous. However, the thunder and heavy rains are small, and they are caught in the “discrimination” of domestic users. The sales of “Dragon” have never been on fire.
Radical technology is moving forward and dangerous
HTC, which has a negative profit growth, is in desperate need of a product that can be turned into a bailout, and they choose to be on this advanced New One. Just like the name of this name product, I want to give HTC a new beginning.
NewOne (M7) has two highlights to mention, the world's first all-metal smartphone, and the 4 million UltraPixel camera. Now we all know that the UltraPixel camera is enlarged by the size of a single pixel, so that the amount of light entering is more excellent.
HTC one (M7) propaganda page at the time
From a technical point of view, this 4 million camera has no problem, and the number is the key for the user. In the megapixel era, HTC suddenly returned to “a few years ago”.
On the other hand, HTC's marketing of NewOne is far less than that of Samsung. With the big billboards, the airport and even the entire terminal to market the Samsung Galaxy S4, NewOne invited Wang Lihong to endorse, but there was no excessive publicity, so that the film star Robert · Robert Downey was invited. Jr.) Also does not help.
“Iron Man" for HTC endorsement
Of course, the results can be imagined, the sales of S4 far exceeds NewOne, and the first echelon of the mobile phone market has become farther and farther away from HTC.
Marketing is indeed a weakness of HTC. Today, there is very little marketing promotion on HTC U12+. This may be the conclusion that HTC has never circumvented.
One machine for the Chinese mainland market "double sided"
From NewOne to 10, HTC never returned to the mainstream market during this period. On the contrary, more and more users are complaining about HTC's “multiple chins”, and the most unsuccessful one HTC has done is one machine for the Chinese mainland market “double sided”.
HTC 10 entered the mainland early, due to the same name and price reduction, the user was arguing
When the HTC 10 was introduced, the international market used the Snapdragon 820 processor as the flagship processor at that time, and entering the mainland was also the same price for this product. The hardware used the Snapdragon 652 processor, which was quite different in performance. far.
The difference in treatment of users in mainland China also made them lose their love for HTC.
Wang Xuehong sold the building twice and started investing in the VR industry.
Wang Xuehong sold the Taoyuan headquarters building in 2015 and sold the Shanghai manufacturing plant for RMB 630 million in March 2017. The reason for selling the building was to save the money in the newly invested VR field.
2015 HTC opens up new business involving VR industry
In 2015, HTC announced its entry into the VR business. VR is also one of the hot projects of the year. The industry predicts that VR will become the main tool for users in the future. HTC has officially taken such an opportunity.
The beginning is more bumpy. HTC's VR is different from other cheap split VRs. The Vive connected to the computer and the computer brings a better immersive experience. However, for technical reasons, Vive can only rely on computers and has high space requirements.
The first generation of Vive was not warm and did not get the results of the shot, so that Wang Xuehong continued to invest in the building.
HTC splits mobile phone business into Google
Wang Xuehong once said that “HTC will not sell”, but the baton of the mobile phone business has now been handed over to Google.
Google and HTC sign transfer agreement
In 2016, Google's new son Pixel was born, this product also has HTC OEM, photo once became the biggest highlight of this product. Maybe Google wants more thorough research and development, or HTC is really short of money. In September last year, HTC sold its team that participated in Google's Pixel mobile phone business to Google for $1.1 billion, and about 2,000 HTC employees joined. Google.
Which way does HTC have to go in the future?
After 21 years of hard work, HTC sold its home and made a new business. HTC has not given up on innovation, such as the Edge Sense technology used for the first time in U11 or the transparent back cover design used by U12+. It is also the target pursued by mobile phone manufacturers in the industry.
How can we link innovation and sales without the lack of innovative HTC? How can we reinvigorate when the brand is down?
HTC may also refer to the Nokia and BlackBerry examples. These brands, which have been similar to HTC, are now reinventing their products in cooperation with other brands. Among them, Nokia is a good example. Hmd, who bought the brand license, cooperated with Foxconn to bring the Nokia brand back to the smartphone market through “Restoration” and set a sales volume of 60 million units a year. Then take the victory to pursue the current mainstream mobile phone market, which is unreachable in the "Microsoft era".
However, BlackBerry is the opposite of “outsourcing”, and it is also “love”, the BlackBerry's proud “all keyboard” is the symbol of business and efficiency. However, in the era of large-screen touch, the full keyboard is instantly and efficiently, and there is no need to press the screen a few times faster. After the return of the BlackBerry, sales still have not improved.
The HTC under Wang Xuehong’s control has already reached the time of this change.
Sina Technology Special Reporter Junhao