After having exited the tablet market after the company debuted a 7-inch HTC Flyer and a 10-inch Jetstream Android slate, HTC is looking to re-enter the tablet market with a new slate. The company is also hinting that it would also be entering the wearable computing market, but specifics about what those products are were not disclosed.
A source close to HTC, however, did disclose to Bloomberg that the company is working with Google to release an Android-powered smartwatch with a camera to take on the Galaxy Gear from rival Samsung, shedding some light to HTC’s plans for wearables.
After years of declining market share in a competitive mobile environment dominated by Apple and Samsung, HTC CEO Peter Chou acknowledges the importance of the wearable technology as the next stage of growth for the Taiwanese firm, “It matches what we do today as a mobile experience overall. That is one area we are excited about.”
The wearables market is still a large one at this time, and HTC didn’t give specifics in its interview with the Financial Times about product plans or what devices it would release. Chou said that his company had worked on a smartwatch with Microsoft years ago, but that doesn’t mean that HTC will be ready to enter that particular market again to face Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, Sony’s Smartwatch 2, or Apple’s rumored iWatch. Chou says that the market is still too early and that current products don’t really meet any user needs and are gimmicks at this point.
Though HTC was vague about wearables, it was more optimistic with the tablet market, saying that an HTC-branded slate needs to be disruptive.
“When the [HTC] tablet comes out it will be something nice and disruptive,” HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang said. “There are a lot of devices to innovate . . . Ubiquitous intelligence is not just wearables.”
It’s unclear if HTC will be able to reverse its stream of losses in recent months, but the company remains optimistic. HTC CEO Peter Chou has offloaded some of his tasks, including sales and marketing, to Cher Wang, a woman who had helped to cofound the company. Chou will be focused more on product development.