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HTC had a terrible 2019 – TechCrunch

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HTC can’t seem to catch a break.

The once-king-of-the-hill smartphone vendor, which had a terrible 2018, continued to bleed last year, according to financial disclosures it made on Monday.

HTC reported revenue of 10,015 TWD ($333 million) in 2019, down 57.8% from 23,741 TWD ($789 million) it posted the year before, and whopping 87% below over $2 billion it grossed in 2017. As Bloomberg columnist Tim Culpan pointed out, Apple now generates more from selling AirPods in a fortnight than HTC clocks from selling each of its offering in a year.

The drop in revenue comes as the Taiwanese firm scales back its smartphone business — a sizeable portion of which it sold to Google two years ago — and focuses on virtual reality headsets and accessories.

HTC has yet to disclose how much money it lost in the quarter that ended in December, but in the other three quarters last year, it lost 7.05 billion TWD ($234.4 million).

Last year, HTC made significant changes to its smartphone strategy in many nations including India, the world’s second largest smartphone market. HTC no longer sells flagship and other high-end smartphones in India, and instead focuses on mid-range handsets.

In September, HTC appointed a longtime telecom vet, Yves Maitre, as its new chief executive officer. In an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt last year, Maitre candidly opened about the once-iconic firm’s recent performance, saying HTC had “stopped innovating in the hardware of the smartphone.”

“And people like Apple, like Samsung and, most recently, Huawei, have done an incredible job investing in their hardware. We didn’t, because we have been investing in innovation on virtual reality,” he said.

Maitre has said that the company will focus on virtual reality headsets and many of its applications such as training and education in the future. In recent quarters, HTC has launched Vive Pro Eye headset for enterprises, revamped its consumer-facing VR headset to better compete with Facebook’s offering, and produced VR works at the Venice Film Festival. It has not disclosed how many VR headsets it has sold.

The company has also launched a 5G-enabled mobile hotspot for users who don’t want to commit to a 5G smartphone just yet to enjoy the faster download speed (provided their local carrier supports it). It also refreshed its blockchain handset lineup in October last year, adding a cheaper variant to the mix.



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Today’s Wordle Answer #413 – August 6, 2022 Solution And Hints

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The answer to today’s Wordle puzzle (#413 – August 6, 2022) is alien, which means to be strange or exotic, or to come from a foreign land (via Merriam-Webster). Unlike yesterday’s word, alien has a rich etymology. It comes from Latin “aliēnus”, which means not one’s own, foreign, or strange. It’s also derivative of “alius”, which also means “other”. It also has roots in Middle English “alienen”, which means to transfer or surrender property rights, or to exclude.

Here’s a fun fact: Scottish church minister and science teacher, Thomas Dick, set out in 1848 to calculate the number of aliens living inside the Solar System. According to his predictions, if the population density of outer space matched that of England, with 280 people per square mile, then the Solar System might be home to 22 trillion inhabitants (via BBC). Now that’s a very chilling thought.

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Domestic Car Sales Have Gone Through A Steep Decline Since COVID

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Sales statistics compiled by DataHerald for SlashGear show a strong decline in the number of vehicle sales over the last few years. Some sales traditions, like a January dip followed by a strong spring sales period as tax returns hit people’s bank accounts, are apparent in the data we received. An interesting thing to note is how the annual January drop seemed to be more severe in 2021. January 2020 saw a drop of around 60,000 sales when compared to the previous month, and sales declined by roughly the same number between December 2020 and January 2021. However, due to the lower sales volume overall, the dip appears to be more severe on the chart and is drastically larger if you look at it as a percentage of sales instead of raw sales numbers.

As you may expect, the biggest dip in sales occurred at the height of the April 2020 lockdown. During this period, sales figures dipped below 125,000. This is likely because many showrooms and dealerships were closed, which meant there were fewer locations where you could actually purchase a car. Unfortunately, despite a brief recovery throughout the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, sales numbers never got back to pre-pandemic figures. Since May 2021 we’ve witnessed a steep decline that threatens to drop sales figures as low as they were at the height of the pandemic. In May 2022, sales were below 180,000 again, with no signs of the downward trend reversing.

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Tesla Is Finally Adding This Common Feature To Its Steering Wheels

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“All cars made since November also have push center for horn – just waiting on firmware update,” Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter about the horn placement issue. This was after a Twitter user asked if it was possible to “remap the horn on the steering yoke.” In other words, if you drive a Tesla car with a steering yoke, you can use a regular horn after a software update. In addition, the update will allow you to activate the horn if you press your palm against the right side of the steering yoke. 

Another user on Reddit spotted a Tesla Model S with a sticker on the steering yoke that says “Airbag horn enabled in SW-352573.” The photo suggests that Tesla is testing a different type of steering yoke that features a regular horn on the airbag location.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has made a U-turn after it tried to re-write the rules of the traditional horn –- it was forced to recall about 500,000 vehicles that made fart noises and bleating goat sounds instead of the usual beeping horn sound, thanks to a feature Tesla called Boombox (according to CNN).

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