“I wasn’t a geek-nerd in high school. At TAS, I was the popular, sort of arrogant basketball jock,” said Phil Chen (‘96).
Chen has come a long way from shooting hoops in Tian Mu. When he started out playing basketball in college in San Francisco, he realized that it wasn’t something that he wanted to do. Something else interested him—the world of technology. Today he is HTC’s Chief Content Officer.
Chen helped the TAS Apps Club arrange a HTC factory visit in Taoyuan on December 19. HTC, a Taiwanese tech giant, was founded in 1997 and has grown to become one of the biggest global producers of smartphones and tablets.
According to Sunny Lai, HTC Brand Manager, the company has struggled in the past few years, but HTC One, its most recent smartphone, is considered the most successful launch in the company’s history. With BoomSound stereo speakers, Ultra-Pixel camera sensors, and a sleek aluminum frame, HTC One was awarded the Best European Advanced Smartphone and the T3 Design Award in 2013.
According to David Wu, the Assistant Tech Manager of the company, the design and innovation of HTC phones revolve around user experience.
“It was only until we stepped into the HTC building that we realized how limited our knowledge of the company was…[we didn’t] even know what ‘HTC’ stood for,” said Daphne L.(11).
And what does HTC stand for? The company was once called the High Tech Computer Corporation, but it has wisely abbreviated its name and hasn’t looked back since. In 2011, HTC overtook Nokia to become the third largest mobile phone company in the world, trailing behind Apple and Samsung.
Students were shocked when Georges Boulloy, Vice President of HTC, deliberately dropped his HTC phone, just to demonstrate the product’s durability.
“From the assembly line that makes the main board to the assembly line that packages the finished phone, it really surprises me how much work—done both by humans and machines—is required to produce a smartphone,” said James W.(11), vice president of Apps Club.
“The HTC trip can only be described as an enlightening, enjoyable, and insightful experience,” said Victor H. (11), president of Apps Club. “I feel that this trip was a tremendous success since Apps Club has never visited factories of tech companies before.”