Shares of HTC stock have lost 90% of their value since hitting an all-time high in 2011. But that’s not why investors are angry. The struggling smartphone vendor’s revenue has continued to plummet in 2014, even after it launched its new HTC One (M8) flagship phone. But that’s also not why investors are angry. According to a report on Thursday from The Wall Street Journal, investors at HTC’s shareholder meeting were fuming… because HTC wouldn’t give them free phones.
HTC’s shareholder meeting on Thursday had about 2,000 investors in attendance as the company pleaded its case and tried to keep them on board. Meanwhile, three hours into the meeting, people were still asking when they would receive their free HTC phones.
The company gave free handsets away to each investor in attendance at its shareholder meeting last year, when times were tough but not quite as bleak. Now, HTC scaled back its swag, giving away a thermos and snacks to each attendee instead.
The vendor also raffled off 200 phones, but that wasn’t enough for feisty shareholders looking for freebies as HTC struggles to reverse its fortunes.
One investor even told The Journal that a free phone would have made him “feel better about HTC’s sinking share price.”
HTC chairman Cher Wang pressed on, despite the commotion.
“You should all be proud of being shareholders of HTC,” Wang said.”We are facing competition from not only Samsung and Apple but Huawei and Xiaomi. But our executives didn’t leave the company and are still committed despite a drop in sales.”
According to CEO Peter Chou, HTC will begin to see “noticeable improvement” within the next two to three quarters.