HTC phone chief quits as company prepares for what may be its last flagship

HTC U11 Plus
Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

News out of Taiwan today is that HTC’s president of smartphone and connected devices business is resigning, effectively immediately. Chialin Chang, who’d previously served as HTC’s CFO and, between 2013 and 2017, its head of global sales, was one of the last remaining high-level executives not to have departed the company. But the position he was occupying started to look redundant after HTC sold off most of its smartphone design and engineering team to Google for $1.1 billion.

HTC hasn’t yet quit the smartphone business entirely, as the company has already promised a dual-camera flagship phone for 2018, which we can surmise is the U12 that was teased a couple of weeks ago. Sources familiar with HTC’s roadmap have told The Verge that the next major phone launch from the company won’t be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, but will come soon after. What, if anything, we can expect from HTC’s smartphone division after that point is unknown.

Though brief, HTC’s disclosure today indicates that Chialin Chang has resigned due to his personal career plan — presumably meaning he no longer wants to be the captain of a vanishing ship — and, ominously, the section for his replacement is left unfilled.

Comments

Shame, U11 Plus was actually a terrific phone.

Big hope for U12. but now I am just afraid it won’t get future android updates…

It definitely will but I’m more worried if it would still be that good or not.

I’m a huge fan of HTC but they don’t seem to listen on their consumers. Also, I still find their price tag on the expensive side since they still of themselves as a giant. Ineffective marketing is also a big problem. I really pity HTC but what can we do. Oh well..

You’re not going to get the quality phones you generally get from them with a budget phone price.

Why not? Huawei has been able to do that, and it’s working really well for them. If they didn’t have suspected ties to Chinese government, they would be on their way to being the next Samsung in the US.

I’m not sure what prices you’re looking at but they aren’t "budget phone" prices. Also, their quality isn’t the same. And more than likely they’re, in some way, subsidized by the Chinese government.

Htc had two major problems,they stopped listening to buyers/users and kept thinking that they had to crack the american market.
There was also the problem of their ridiculous priceing ideas.
If htc had listened to users ten years ago and built what ,any folk wanted,an hd2 mark 2,with updated hardware but still with all tha capabilities to be totaly un-locked properly and ability to run almost anything you could load into,one way or another,then they may have built up enough users/cash to have attracted investors..
htc cannot survive much longer,unless thete is massive change at the company and they can attract investors,google ripped them off and got htc’s crown jewels for knock down rip-off price,the only excuse google can realy give is if they hadnt bought modt of the staff etc,somebody else would have offered even less or htc would have fo;ded very soon.

I can tell you most normal consumers do not care about an unlocked boot loader. Those are the consumers they needed to buy their phones.

So long, old friend. I had a long love/hate relationship with HTC devices.

  • XDA Mini S (Wizard) – great device. combined the best of Pocket PC with phone functionality. Poor battery life and a critical flaw that if you let the main battery fully drain it then drained the onboard memory battery and bricked the phone. Mine is still lying dead in a drawer
  • XDA Exec (Universal) – Crazy phone / micro PC. Silly heavy and the screen very poor for the size. The only phone I have had go on fire (heavy battery and spring contacts not a good mix!)
  • XDA Trion (TyTN) – all that was good about the Mini S and more. My favorite Windows mobile device
  • HTC Desire – the best iPhone clone. Slick and smooth but with memory leaks that meant it needed rebooted frequently. Stupidly small memory. Replaced due to broken charging connector which was very common on many HTCs. First one suffered screen burn but second one was LCD and was fine.
  • Desire HD – Seemed to fix all about the Desire and a bigger screen – what’s not to like? Ridiculously short battery life, that’s what. I took it back after 2 weeks.
  • One X – The best HTC Android phone by far. Only issue I had was chipping of the coating.
  • One (M7) – Gorgeous design and blue colour but badly put together. I got pissed off with the edge of the top bezel snagging inside my pocket. Prone to unexplained slowdowns. Again it went back.

I had the HTC Evo 4g. Powerful phone, amazing camera, but the worst battery life of any phone I ever had. If you were really pushing the phone, it’d die in three hours. After that, never went back to HTC.

The Evo was very like the Desire HD but with the added drain of Wimax. I only got 4-6 out of the Desire HD in normal business use. The very similar Windows HD2 was much better from that respect

Yea that phone was pretty cool but why they insisted on pushing 4G before the radios were efficient enough for a smartphone I’ll never know.

Desire HD – Seemed to fix all about the Desire and a bigger screen – what’s not to like? Ridiculously short battery life, that’s what. I took it back after 2 weeks.

I’m still using Desire HD as my primary phone.
I never had any issues with the battery. I replaced the original one 3-4 years ago because at the end I struggled to get 4 hours out of it.

I had the One X too. Man I miss that phone. It was a beauty to look at, and the screen was absolutely gorgeous.

At the time it came out I worked for at&t and I was shocked to find this gem of a phone just sort of appear on our shelves, we didn’t get any training or demos with them and they didn’t really sell compared to the ugly as shit GS3 at the time. Shame.

It’s the result of their badly designed interfaces and lacking cameras.

U11 and U11+ have arguably the best camera on the market (on par with Pixel 2)

Nah, their interfaces were great and often better than Google’s before Material Design debuted.

Maybe they made the phones too good, I am retiring my HTC M8 this year probably getting the galaxy S9.

if you get the Galaxy S9, make sure you hold onto the receipt. I was underwhelmed by the software experience when I moved from the HTC 10 to the Galaxy S8 and still have regrets to this day.

Man I loved my M8.

I’m still rocking an M8 too, the community is doing an amazing job keeping this phone up to date. Just installed the February security patch!
But I’ll be moving on soon, the battery is not that great anymore, but the M8 served well for years!

HTC has made some of my favorite phones ever. If this is going to be their last flagship, I want to own it. I’m certainly not trading this Galaxy S8 for another Galaxy.

While HTC has had some issues if their own. Speculation articles on HTC getting out of the smartphone market has been ongoing by the media for years now which doesn’t help sales. Enough with your speculation until HTC announced it themselves.
They last several flagships have been amazing phones and should be selling way more than they do but articles like this don’t help.

This article doesn’t speculate…

What, if anything, we can expect from HTC’s smartphone division after that point is unknown.

That’s literally the opposite of speculation.

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