During HTC's quarterly earnings call for Q4 2016, the company confirmed that it will not be producing new budget Android phones beginning this year. Instead, the company will focus on premium devices, which have a higher profit margin.
On revenue of NT$22.2bn, the firm posted an operating loss of NT$3.6bn, and it's been some time since HTC showed a profit. Clearly, it's time to trim some of the fat.
And that fat is producing a number of entry-level phones, many of which are nearly identical. For example, the Desire 530, which came to the US in July, had virtually no distinction from the Desire 626, which was introduced a year before. And then there are handsets like the Desire 10 Lifestyle, which only launched a few months ago, but has a Snapdragon 400 chipset that you'll find in three-year-old devices.
For 2017, the company says that we'll see six or seven new handsets, two of which would be the new flagships U Ultra and U Play. HTC also confirmed last month that "another flagship" will be launched with a new processor, most likely the Snapdragon 835. Also, existing budget phones aren't going anywhere, as they will continue to be stocked and supported.