HTC Corp (TPE:2498) is building a smart-watch product that uses the Google Android operating system, according to sources with Bloomberg. The costs and functions are still not determined, but the release timeline is expected to be in the second half of 2014. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang gathered workers at a town hall meeting to say that the company needs to improve customer focus. Wang recently stepped up her duties to offload some of the work from CEO Peter Chou.
HTC’s smartphone marketshare has been dropping and they recently saw their first quarterly loss. HTC’s share price has also dropped around 54% this year due to intense competition with Samsung and Apple.
Some of the other confirmed companies that are working on a smart-watch product include Sony, Samsung, Adidas. Apple has not formally announced the plans for their smart-watch, but there are rumors that they will release one. Apple registered the trademark “iWatch” in Japan.
At the town hall meeting, Chou and Wang held a Q&A session and emphasized the importance of after-sales service to ensure customer loyalty and repeat business. HTC hired Robert Downey Jr. as a brand ambassador and launched the HTC One phone recently.
On October 4th, HTC’s third quarter net loss was NT$2.97 billion ($101 million). This is much wider than the NT$1.71 billion loss average expected from 16 analyst estimates. HTC’s sales of NT$47 billion is way under the NT$54 billion average estimate from analysts as well.