Dire Times for HTC; Engineer Staff Being Forced to Work Without Overtime

dgstorm

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Things may be getting worse over at HTC than we originally thought. Not too long ago, they shared in an earnings call that they were able to slash their R&D overhead costs by a great deal. What was strange about this was that there were not layoffs to bring this about. Today's report sheds more light on the subject. Apparently, HTC made the tough choice of eliminating over-time pay for over a thousand R&D engineers instead of having mass layoffs.

Of course, this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you saved a bunch of people's jobs. On the other hand, they have been working 12 hour days but only getting paid for 8 hours. No matter how loyal someone is to a company, eventually that will take its toll on morale. This all came to light because of precisely that reason. According to the report, one of HTC's engineers sent an angry letter to the CEO of the company, Peter Chou. In the letter, he shares his frustration. Here's a quote from the source of this news with a paraphrase included,

“… requiring more than a thousand engineers to work 12 hour days according to “responsibility system” without any overtime compensation, for more than a year… which means 1000+ hours of uncompensated overtime per person per year – is extremely unreasonable…”

Well, my Google Chinese was off somewhat.

In comments Liaw Kim Poh •says it wasn’t 1000 guys, it was just 1 guy. But…. he asked … how the fff…. long would we have to work these 12hr shifts without overtime (talking about 5000 engineers who had to do that)

And, frankly, I’m not sure which is better. 1K guys speaking out, or 5K sending a representative…

HTC says it complied with all the Taiwan’s labor laws.

We understand that things are tough for HTC, but if they start to lose their engineers, then things will only get worse. What do you guys think? Can HTC turn things around, or is it a sinking ship?

Source: UnWiredView
 

skennelly

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1) welcome to the world of a salaried employee.
2) if these engineers are worth as much as they think they are, maybe HTC would be selling more phones and not be in this situation to begin with.
3) I'd like to see HTC say "fine, we'll do it your way", fire 3/4 of the engineering department so they can afford to pay the remaining 1/4 their precious overtime. I'm sure those let go would have a change of heart.
 

hotice

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I think they can definitely turn things around. They just need to forget the research they did that showed people want a thin phone over one with a great battery. Now that I have a Maxx HD I don't think I could ever switch to a phone that has significantly less battery life. It doesn't matter how awesome your camera is or how great your screen is if the battery doesn't let you get the use you want out of the thing!!!

HTC has great phones with great screens (They need to stick with LCD!!!) and great camera's! All they need is great batteries! If they would have put a Maxx battery in the DNA it would have sold like hot cakes. The best device HTC has now is probably the Evo 4G LTE - MicroSD slot, 2000mAh battery, and everything else HTC is known for. Actually the MicroSD slot was something else missing on the DNA. They should have given the DNA 32GB of storage and a MicroSD slot. Really though, even with the 16GB of storage you got a ton for the money at $200. It really would have sold better with a MicroSDXC slot and a 3300mAh battery - even if it was a little thicker or not rounded on the sides.

It wouldn't hurt them to lose Sense either. If nothing else they should change their task switcher so it scrolls vertically when in held in portrait orientation, basically like stock.
 

shockracer

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They will restructure and get headed in the right direction. They make great devices that are reliable for the most part.

Now they are being paid for 8 hours when working 12 hours or are being paid straight time for 12 hours with no time and half increase for overtime?

As stated this will lead to salary.

I will always buy an HTC phone even if they go back Audiovox :O
 
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boidsonly

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HTC is on the way out. The T-bolt just now getting ICS? A mid 2011 phone? Really? REALLY?

I'll never buy another HTC product. I promise, HTC...
 

WestOkid

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I think HTC makes good phones. I had a Tbolt. the biggest problem was that it was a guinea pig for Verizon's LTE experiment. The product was rushed. The said, HTC could make a perfect phone and will not matter. There are only 2 companies making money in the smartphone business; Apple and Samsung. They have one thing in common. They market to the masses. They market practical concepts and tell people their phones will make their lives better. HTC markets to us. The spec geeks and techno junkies that go to forums. I know it's nice to think we matter, but we don't when it comes to profits (see Nexuses for reference). Look how many people in these forums swear by Moto. Guess what, they don't make money either. It boils down to having a pulse of society. They must let those nerdy engineers run their marketing department too. Hmmm which phone should Joe and Mary Average get? The Apple phone that helps me take great panorama's of my kid's soccer team and blocks background noise from my calls or the Droid DNA that ridiculously claims it can turn me into the 6 million dollar man?
 

liftedplane

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i love watching arrogant companies burn a fiery death.

*insert fruity comment here*

either way, if they are being salaried it comes down to this. Work your ass off and get paid the same, or get fired and find another job. I was salaried for seven years, there are times when it sucks, and times when it's great. definitely a double edged sword.
 

acousticshade

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Yup, there are a large number of professionals who work more than 40 hours a week. My advice, suck it up. The boom of the 90's is gone & we will probably never see that again in our lifetime.

Option #2, engineer bigger batteries in your otherwise great phones & when sales increase overtime compensation comes back.
 

mpgo4th

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I think they can definitely turn things around. They just need to forget the research they did that showed people want a thin phone over one with a great battery. Now that I have a Maxx HD I don't think I could ever switch to a phone that has significantly less battery life. It doesn't matter how awesome your camera is or how great your screen is if the battery doesn't let you get the use you want out of the thing!!!

HTC has great phones with great screens (They need to stick with LCD!!!) and great camera's! All they need is great batteries! If they would have put a Maxx battery in the DNA it would have sold like hot cakes. The best device HTC has now is probably the Evo 4G LTE - MicroSD slot, 2000mAh battery, and everything else HTC is known for. Actually the MicroSD slot was something else missing on the DNA. They should have given the DNA 32GB of storage and a MicroSD slot. Really though, even with the 16GB of storage you got a ton for the money at $200. It really would have sold better with a MicroSDXC slot and a 3300mAh battery - even if it was a little thicker or not rounded on the sides.

It wouldn't hurt them to lose Sense either. If nothing else they should change their task switcher so it scrolls vertically when in held in portrait orientation, basically like stock.

I read on another forum where a member contacted HTC about the lack of memory. They were told that Verizon speced the 16g and no sd slot. That part might not be HTC's fault
 

52brandon

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what has HTC's R&D department done that warrants any sort of recognition? Let's compare a few of the things that their R&D department has done recently in comparison to some of the other manufacturers off the top of my head...

Samsung. Largest and most successful MFR. A MFR that a MFR should try to emulate. Some things they've come up with over the past few years:
-Exynos chips. Including their quad-core and now their new big-little, 8-core, likely genius chip that I expect to change the game
-2GB DDR3 mobile RAM chip we still haven't seen in a device that will likely be a beast
-flexible OLED screen
-their new retina-following tech
-pretty sure the GS4 will be the first phone to come with the new wireless charging tech

Sony:
-Xperia Z will be the first waterproof phone (I expect to see most of them follow suit by the end of the year)
-Xperia Z will also be the first mobile phone with the touch sensor built directly into the screen (as opposed to it being a separate piece underneath)
-Xperia X will have Bravia engine for the graphics. 443ppi. Will be a BEAST of a screen
-Exmor camera tech. I expect the Xperia Z to have the best camera of any mobile phone to date. By a lot
-one-touch DLNA(I have always thought DLNA was a technology way too underutilized/developed. I'm very excited to see Sony put some work into it
-Battery STAMINA. I'm excited to see how this pans out. This feature is what I'm looking most forward to in this phone
(after writing this. I think I kinda decided that this will be my next phone lol)

Motorola:
-the MAXX tech. Not really a technological advance. Just a very smart idea by giving these new pocket computers really, something that they lacked. Battery life to actually use the sweet technology you have without constantly charging
-MOTO has always had a stellar reputation for hardware, though I hate the decision to lock the bootloaders
-owned by Google says a lot. I expect them to make HUGE jumps in the near future. Starting with the X-Phone. It will debut 5.0, I expect impressive hardware as always, and since they will be selling direct to the public, like the N4, I expect it to be some sort of Nexus device and have an unlocked bootloader
(I lost interest in owning a Motorola quite a while ago. This phone is making me seriously reconsider though)

HTC:
-... uhhh..... well...... yeah.....

I fully expect Huawei to replace HTC as one of the major players in the smartphone game. It would be cool to see HTC mount a comeback. I just don't see it though... oh well, Huawei will replace them and the world wont skip a beat
 

jseah

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Don't know about engineers in Taiwan, but all engineers (software and hardware) in the high tech world here in the US are salaried employees. No overtime to be had here.
 
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Exactly.

Boo-hoo. I get paid for 40 hrs and I typically work 50-60. Yeah, it sucks, but that's how a salary-based pay works.

When you agree to salary you know what your signing up for. When you're paid hourly that is not what you sign up for. Salary people usually have a slightly higher pay to account for that overtime

Sent from RAZR Maxx FlyingJelly
 

liftedplane

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When you agree to salary you know what your signing up for. When you're paid hourly that is not what you sign up for. Salary people usually have a slightly higher pay to account for that overtime

Sent from RAZR Maxx FlyingJelly

If still rather be salaried suddenly then let go because my company can't get it right. I don't know if they're *****ing but having a job is better than looking for one any day of the week

Sent from my sickeningly sweet RAZR MAXX.
 
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