According to a Taiwanese newspaper, as reported by Fox Business, HTC was the subject of a recent plea by the head of the country's central bank. He urged the Taiwanese government to offer some sort of financial assistance to HTC, whose stock has dropped over 80% from its peak in Spring of 2011. While HTC is still profitable, the bank's governor points not only to HTC's dramatically waning share figures, but the impact of its slowed growth on Taiwan's net exports, which have fallen 11% year over year.
Unfortunately, it makes sense (no pun intended). HTC had an absolute flop of a handset cycle starting in early 2011, and things just went downhill from there. While the One series has done a lot to restore the confidence of critics in its phones, consumers just don't seem to be biting with the same enthusiasm they did back in the ThunderBolt days. It's a bit sad, because I really like the One X (despite its numerous flaws), and I found the One S to be an impressive phone, as well.
The fact remains, though, that HTC did let consumers down for a while before finally getting back on track, and the market is clearly punishing the company for it. And now, HTC is building better phones, and people are taking notice. It just may take another year before the stock market decides to notice, too. It's also of paramount importance to note that HTC is one of the single largest companies in Taiwan, and that the economy of Taiwan itself suffers when HTC's financials take a dive. HTC is to Taiwan what Detroit's "Big Three" are to parts of the US, in a way - HTC employs the better part of 10,000 people, and doubtless indirectly supports tens of thousands more.
Taiwan just wants to shore up one of its biggest domestic manufacturing and innovation firms against any potentially volatile economic downturns that might deal the company a serious blow while it's trying to turn itself around. After all, we are talking about the company that just dropped $35 million on an enterprise software firm after losing $40 million to OnLive. And more importantly, HTC as a company is still very much profitable, even if it isn't as profitable as it was last year.
So, don't count on an HTC-less world just yet, there's still plenty of time for Peter Chou to get his company back into top form.