HTC To Shed 1,500 Employees, Eight Months After $1.1B Deal With Google


HTC, the Taiwanese maker of Android smartphones and high-end virtual reality headsets, is paring back its staff once again.

In September, HTC and Google disclosed a deal that would transfer 2,000 HTC employees -- about half of the company's R&D staff -- to Google.

[Related: Google Seeks To 'Supercharge' Its Pixel Business With $1.1B Deal With HTC]

Now, HTC is laying off another 1,500 employees, according to reports by Reuters and other news outlets. The jobs are located in HTC's Taiwan factories, and make up about 23 percent of the company's total workforce, which has stood at 6,450, according to Reuters.

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The workforce reduction is "a decisive step in the realignment of resources across the organization, and will allow more flexible operations management," HTC said in a statement provided to CRN. The cuts will take place by the close of September, HTC said.

The company has seen a diminished position in the smartphone market in recent years amid stiff competition from the likes of Samsung, and HTC's recently released flagship, the 6-inch HTC U12+, has failed to garner strong reviews in the U.S. The placement of pressure-sensitive buttons on the right side of the U12+ were a source of frustration cited by numerous reviewers, for instance.

And while the company's Vive VR headsets have generally gotten a more-positive reception, the high pricing compared to other headsets has been seen as a drawback. The company's Vive Pro, launched this spring, starts at $800 for the headset (which must connect to a powerful PC). It goes up to $1,400 for a kit with controllers and base stations. Lenovo's standalone Mirage Solo, by contrast, starts at $400 and comes with a motion controller.

The layoffs at HTC follow Google's $1.1 billion deal with HTC in September to bring more of the team working on its Pixel smartphones in-house.

HTC said at the time that the transaction primarily involved transferring certain HTC employees to Google. Many of the transferred employees had been working with Google on the Pixel smartphones, HTC said.

Along with the 2,000 employees, Google will received a license to HTC intellectual property as part of the deal.