Reporter Chen Ting Wang Jiwei
On December 25th, HTC Tmall flagship store removed all mobile phone products, and only one data cable product is currently on sale. The Jingdong self-operated store only launched U11 and U11+ mobile phones, and U12+ was completely removed from the product page. This news once again triggered industry speculation that HTC would withdraw from the Chinese mobile phone market.
HTC HTC (2498— TW) has launched the world's first Android phone, with a market value of nearly $33.8 billion at the peak surpassing Nokia, the industry leader at the time. Today, the market value is only $2.9 billion. According to public sources, HTC sold the mobile OEM team to Google in September 2017, but retained its own mobile phone brand; in July 2018, it again implemented layoffs. Virtual VR equipment Vive has become the focus of HTC development in recent years, but the overall market performance is not good. And HTC, which recently connected mobile phones in Tmall flagship store and Jingdong self-operated store, is a precursor to the abandonment of mobile phone business? In response to the reporter, the customer service staff said that the mobile phone was only temporarily out of stock, and there is no exact plan for re-stocking.
At present, HTC's online sales platform is mainly the official mall, Jingdong self-operated store and Tmall flagship store.
When the reporter opened the HTC Tmall flagship store on December 25th, the entire official flagship store was left with only one HTC USB original Android data cable and U11 (128G) version of a mobile phone for sale, and the main page on the home page. U11+ and new phones such as U12+ released this year are not online. Contact customer service said that the stock is temporarily out of stock, and has not received specific notice of re-stocking the mobile phone. When the reporter opened the HTC Tmall flagship store page again on December 27th, the U11 mobile phone was quietly removed, and only the purchase link of the data cable was provided.
HTC Jingdong self-operated stores are currently only available on U11 and U11+ phones, and U12+ is completely removed from the product page. The reporter opened the HTC China official website and found that only U11 and U11+ can be clicked to buy.
According to public information, HTC's newly released U12+ Ultimate mobile phone in May 2018 is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 6GB/128GB configuration and equipped with 12 million + 16 million dual cameras. The phone has a comprehensive score of 103 on the camera rating website DxOMark, ranking second only to Huawei P20 Pro and iPhone XS Max, and is the same as Samsung Note9 and Xiaomi MIX3. The reporter found that U12+ and other U12 series products in HTC's Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and US official websites are in normal sales.
Regarding HTC's large-scale mobile phones and T12 series mobile phones in Tmall flagship store and Jingdong self-operated store, there is no issue related to the opening of the Chinese mainland market. The reporter sent an email consultation to HTC's global marketing manager. On the day, no company reply was received.
According to the public information, HTC brought the special flagship store product HTC 10 Lifestyle to mainland users in 2016. At the time of launch, it was pointed out that the Snapdragon 820 processor in the configuration was replaced by Qualcomm mid-end chip Snapdragon 652. The running storage is also compressed from 4GB to 3GB. Compared with the overseas version, the configuration has shrunk dramatically but the price is still as high as 3,799 yuan. In 2017, HTC officially released two models, HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play. The former price is more than 5,000 yuan, of which the sapphire version is more than 6000 yuan, while the latter price is also about 4,000 yuan, while the same period of Android phones Brands such as Xiaomi and OPPO are priced between 2,000 and 3,000 yuan.
According to industry insiders, HTC has launched a number of high-end models for the iPhone. However, in the domestic market, HTCs that are overpriced and featureless are no longer competitive. On the contrary, the highly personalized features such as low-cost and high-profile cameras are more popular with consumers. With the rise of Internet marketing and e-commerce platforms, the price-performance ratio has become a ticket to enter the mobile phone industry market. Major manufacturers have released high-priced flagship machines, and products under the thousand-yuan machine have entered the Red Sea.
From the current model of the models being sold and the pricing of newly released models, HTC seems to have begun to downgrade pricing. The reporter found in the HTC Jingdong self-operated store that the current U11 (6GB+128GB) version is priced at 2,399 yuan, and the U11+ (6GB+128GB) version is priced at 3,499 yuan. HTC's newly released 6-inch mid-range dual-camera phone U12 Life (128GB) is priced at NT$9,300, which is about RMB 2,100. The price of the U12+ series mobile phone is between NT$18,000 and 19,900, which is between RMB4,000 and RMB4,500.
On the other hand, HTC's marketing channels have also suffered from market criticism. In the mainland market, compared to the advertising and posters of different mobile phone brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo in different scenes, HTC is extremely bleak, and the sense of existence is almost zero. In the era when major mobile phone brand conferences were held, the scale of HTC's conference was not as good as the annual meeting of big companies.
According to public information, HTC was established in 1997, and its initial business is the processing business of mobile phones and smart hardware. After that, it has cooperated with technology companies such as Microsoft and Google. In 2006, it established its own mobile phone brand. In 2008, it launched the world's first Android mobile phone HTC G1. Since then, it has launched more than 50 models in less than 4 years, and has a market share of 9.1% in the global mobile phone market in 2011. Beyond Nokia, second only to Apple. However, since 2011, HTC has been banned in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other markets due to patent issues.
According to public information, on September 21, 2017, HTC announced that it will sell its 2,000-person mobile ODM (OEM) team and IP to Google for US$1.1 billion, and the transaction will be completed in early 2018. In this transaction, Zhang Jialin, general manager of HTC Group's smart phone business, said that in the future, he will focus more on the development of his own brand business, such as smart phones, VR and AI. In July 2018, HTC announced a layoff plan of nearly 1,500 people, mainly related to the manufacturing sector, with nearly a quarter of layoffs.
HTC released the VR head-mounted product Vive in March 2015. In November 2016, Vive was honored in the 2016 China Pan-Entertainment Index Ceremony “China VR Product Attention List TOP10”. HTC's key VR products in recent years Vive is currently priced at 4,888 yuan in China's official mall. HTC said in its third quarter earnings report in 2018 that the company has made significant progress in the VR business and will continue to build and expand the VR market. IDC (Internet Data Center) data shows that Oculus is the leader in VR shipments in the third quarter of 2018, with a 25.9% share of the VR market. The best-selling Sony PlayStation VR is over Rift and HTC Vives. In the fourth quarter of 2017, HTC's China VR market share was 9.8%, second only to Samsung (22.4%) and Pico (10.7%); Samsung ranked first with approximately 220,000 units, followed by Xiaomi VR series (about 120,000 sets) and HTC (about 100,000 sets). Some insiders said that although HTC has been involved in the VR industry in 2016, it is said that the overall market performance of VR is not good.
On December 24th, HTC CEO Wang Xuehong said at the VIA Electronic Christmas Eve event, “If you encounter any difficulties, you can come back again, and you must have optimistic confidence. HTC and VIA will be very good next year. ”