HTC lays off almost a quarter of its entire workforce

The 1,500 affected employees are from HTC's manufacturing operations in Taiwan.

Smartphone manufacturer HTC will slash nearly a quarter of its employees in an effort to become profitable.

"Today HTC announces plan to optimize the manufacturing organizations in Taiwan [.] This plan will allow more effective and flexible resource management going forward", the company said.

It's important to note that the 1500 affected staff are not from team that went over to Google to work on the latter's Pixel smartphones, as part of the US$1.1 billion (~RM4.05 billion) deal that the two companies agreed to a year ago.

The job cuts are part of a "realignment of resources" across the organisation, the company said in a statement.

Following the Google deal, HTC announced its first quarterly gains for nearly three years in May, posting a net profit of Tw$21.1 billion.

A HTC "U11" smartphone is displayed in this illustration photo taken August 1, 2017. But while analysts said the Google agreement would mean some immediate benefits for HTC, such as more capital and cost reductions, they predicted a turnaround in its fortunes was unlikely. With HTC just as well-known for its Vive VR headset as its phones these days, the company made a decision to merge the two divisions into one at around the same time as the layoffs. The company is among major tech firms including Facebook and Samsung to venture into virtual reality and released its first VR headset Vive in 2016.

Vanessa Coleman