Chairwoman Blames HTC Downfall on Bad Innovation, Lawsuits with Apple; Cher Wang borrowed the Bible quote “humility goes before honor” in showing that HTC “has done a lot of self-reflections” in the past two years

Chairwoman Blames HTC Downfall on Bad Innovation, Lawsuits with Apple

02-22 11:44 Caijing 

IDC statistics showed HTC sold 7.1million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a remarkable 30.6% fall from a year earlier, leaving it a meager 3.1 percent share in the global smart phone market.

The recent downfall of HTC, the Taiwan mobile phone maker, was largely a result of a lack of innovation, said its chairwoman who repeatedly suggested the company be more innovative to turn around its ailing business.

Cher Wang borrowed the Bible quote “humility goes before honor” in showing that HTC “has done a lot of self-reflections” in the past two years. HTC replaced Nokia to become the world’s second-largest smart phone maker in April, 2011, and a set of glithches have emerged ever since leading to slumping market share and profits.

Her comments were made in an exclusive interview with Tencent, a leading news portal in China.

IDC statistics showed HTC sold 7.1million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a remarkable 30.6% fall from a year earlier, leaving it a meager 3.1 percent share in the global smart phone market.

Innovation is the biggest issue in the company where ambitions ideas often failed to pan out, according to Wang. HTC should put more emphasis on innovation. “It’s something HTC has to do,” she said.

HTC has also done a bad job in marketing and the construction of supply chain, Wang said. In addition, lawsuits with Apple contributed to HTC’s decline in the past year.

Some of HTC phones were banned from importing to the United States after it failed in a patent dispute with Apple in 2011. The United States marks an important market which contirbtued 50.6 percent to the company’s overall revenue in 2010.

Wang said HTC will open more stores and flagship stores in the mainland as China recently overtakes the U.S. to become the world’s largest smart phone market.

She also said HTC is not interested in developing more affordable phones, although markets have a good reason to doubt its ability in confronting Apple’s possible intrusion to its space by launching an iPhone mini at a price of 330 U.S. dollars.

Cheaper phones could mean lower quality and lesser innovation, she said.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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