Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2012 (Revised September 2012)
HTC Corp. in 2012
David B. Yoffie, Juan Alcacer and Renee Kim
After 15 years of remarkable achievements, Taiwan-based HTC Corp. faced difficult times by 2012. CEO Peter Chou, who drove HTC's transformation from an unknown manufacturer of PDAs for other companies to a well-known global player in smartphones, faced an uncertain and complex environment. Apple's lead in the smartphone and tablet markets, the acquisition of Motorola by Google, the Microsoft-Nokia alliance, the rise of Samsung, and the extensive patent wars - each raised questions about how HTC could continue its upward trajectory. In a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive market, what would a sustainable differentiation strategy look like for HTC? How could HTC, a historically innovative company, compete in the tablet market? And how could it weather - and mitigate - the patent wars?
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; telecommunications; technological innovation; brand management; economies of scale and scope; market positioning; intellectual property management; Technological Innovation; Hardware; Competitive Strategy; Innovation and Invention; Patents; Product Positioning; Telecommunications Industry; Taiwan;
Citation:Yoffie, David B., Juan Alcacer, and Renee Kim. "HTC Corp. in 2012." Harvard Business School Case 712-423, May 2012. (Revised September 2012.) View Details
A Case Study on HTC Corporation A case study on HTC Corp. Introduction HTC Corporation (HTC) formerly, High Tech Computer Corporation is a manufacturer of smartphones and tablets. The company focuses on the designs, develops, manufactures, and sells smart hand-held devices, such as, personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones, and other related components. The company also designs Microsoft mobile platform, including interface software, operating systems, human machine interface and application software. It markets and sells products under its own brand name. The company's portfolio of hand-held devices provides custom-made solutions to telecommunications clients and retail partners across Europe, Americas and Asia. HTC was founded in May 1997 by Ht Cho and Cher Wang. Cho was an engineer (digital equipment corp.) with a solid reputation for keen attention to detail and quality and his partner Cher Wang hailed from the legendary Wang family in Taiwan. Wang began running her own company, Via technologies in 1984 and was also identified by Forbes as among the world’s top 20 most powerful women in 2011. HTC initial business plan was to manufacture notebook computers. Due to the costs involved with the manufacture of the notebook computers HTC had to change its strategy and start on to manufacture handheld computer like devices. The major breakthrough for HTC came in 2000 with the iPAQ a PDA (personal digital assistant) that HTC engineered and designed for Compaq computer. Business people loved the iPAQ the first color- screened PDA that ran on Microsoft windows CE platform. The 1