HTC to Pursue Array of Connected Devices
HTC plans to broaden the scope of its business during the course of 2015 to include more connected devices across its portfolio. HTC pointed to the recent release of the RE camera and its partnership with Under Armour as examples spearheading its new efforts. The Connected Products Business Unit will operate separately from — but in parallel with — HTC's existing smartphone business. The idea isn't to build accessories to help HTC sell more phones, or jump into existing markets with me-too hardware; instead, HTC wants to meaningfully create new products that solve consumer pain points. The Connected Products business has four main pillars: Connected Life, Connected Self, Connected Entertainment, and Connected Home. The Life category will include imaging products such as the RE. The Self category will include health and fitness products. The Entertainment product will include a variety of items. The Connected Home category will include items such as appliances and home security. HTC said it won't pursue items such as connected thermostats or media hubs. HTC is committed to bringing to market at least one product from each of these four categories by the end of the year. HTC is confident it can relaunch itself as a consumer electronics company and not just exist as a smartphone company. "Want people to think 'HTC makes great stuff, not just great smartphones,'" said the company. HTC said it will have more details to share regarding its Connected Products business later this year.
HTC Delays Wearable Until Next Year
HTC today said is will not launch a wearable with Under Armour this year as expected, and is now targeting early 2016 instead. The company first revealed the HTC Grip in March.
Google Overhauls Its Home Media App
Google today released a new version of Google Home, the mobile app smartphone owners use to interact with their Google Home speaker and Chromecast dongles. Google says the revised application should make it easier to find content to share with connected speakers and television sets.
HTC and Under Armour Prepping a Connected Scale
HTC and Under Armour are collaborating on a scale, according to documents seen on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group web site. The Bluetooth SIG revealed a product named "UA Scale" with a description that reads "HTC and UA provide a Bluetooth scale to measure weight and body fat." The device has a Bluetooth 4.1 radio onboard, ostensibly so it can to connect to nearby smartphones and/or wearables.
HTC to Trim Workforce by 15%
HTC announced that it will take several cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of jobs. HTC plans to cut about 2,250 employees, or 15% of its headcount by the end of the year, in order save money.