Cher Wang (王雪紅) and H. T. Cho (卓火土) founded HTC in 1997. Initially a manufacturer of notebook computers.

HTC began designing some of the world's first touch and wireless hand-held devices in 1998.

HTC started making Windows Mobile PDAs and smartphones starting from 2004 under the Qtek brand.

In 2006 the range was rebranded as HTC with the launch of the HTC TyTN.

In 2007, HTC acquired the mobile device company Dopod International.

HTC joined Google's Open Handset Alliance and then developed and released the first device powered by Android in 2008, the HTC Dream.

In 2008, HTC unveiled the HTC Max 4G, the first GSM mobile phone to support WiMAX networks.

In November 2009 HTC released the HTC HD2, the first Windows Mobile device with a capacitive touchscreen.

HTC Sense debuted 2009 as a user interface which continues to be used as of 2018.

In 2010, it was recorded that HTC sold over 24.6 million handsets, Which was 111% over 2009.

On 17 February 2010, Fast Company ranked HTC as the 31st most innovative company in the world.

In July 2010, HTC announced it would begin selling HTC-branded smartphones in China in a partnership with China Mobile.

The HTC HD7 was released as one of the launch models of Microsoft's revitalized Windows Phone.

In October 2010, HTC launched the brand tagline "quietly brilliant"', and the YOU campaign, HTC's first global advertising campaign.

The 2011 Best Global Brands rankings released by Interbrand, listed HTC at #98 and valued it at $3.6 billion. Based on researcher Canalys, in Q3 2011 HTC Corporation became the largest smartphone vendor in the U.S. with 24 percent market share, ahead of Samsung's 21 percent, Apple's 20 percent, and BlackBerry's 9 percent. HTC Corporation made different models for each operator.

At the Mobile World Congress in February 2011, the GSM Association named HTC the "Device Manufacturer of the Year" in its Global Mobile Awards.

In April 2011, HTC surpassed Nokia as the third-largest smartphone manufacturer by market share, behind Apple and Samsung.

On 27 May 2011, in response to customer feedback, HTC announced that they will no longer lock the bootloaders on their Android based phones.

On 6 July 2011, it was announced that HTC would buy VIA Technologies' stake in S3 Graphics.

In August 2011, HTC confirmed a plan for a strategic partnership with Beats Electronics involving acquiring 51 percent of the company.

On 6 August 2011, HTC acquired Dashwire for $18.5M.

During early 2012, HTC lost much of this U.S. market share due to increased competition from Apple and Samsung.

In June 2012, HTC moved its headquarters from Taoyuan City (now Taoyuan District) to Xindian District, New Taipei City.

The HTC One was released in mid-2013 and, subsequently won various industry awards in the best smartphone and best design categories, but global sales of the HTC One were lower than those for Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship handset and HTC recorded its first ever quarterly loss in early October 2013: a deficit of just under NT$3 billion (about US$100m, £62m). Marketing problems were identified by HTC as the primary reason for its comparative performance, a factor that had been previously cited by the company.

HTC's first quarter results for 2013 showed its year-over-year profit drop by 98.1%, making it the smallest-ever profit for the company—the delay of the launch of the HTC One was cited as one of the factors.

During 2013, Microsoft were in negotiations to purchase HTC. This was only revealed in 2018 by Risto Siilasmaa, chairman of Nokia, in an interview with the Helsingin Sanomat. Microsoft would eventually purchase Nokia's mobile phone business that year.

On 14 January 2013, HTC launched its smartphones in Burma.

According to analyst firm comScore, HTC only accounted for 9.3% of the United States smartphone market as of February 2013. In light of the company's decrease in prominence, Chief Executive Peter Chou had informed executives that he would step down if the company's newest flagship phone, the 2013 HTC One, had failed to generate impressive sales results.

Following the release of the HTC One, two variants were released to form a trio for the 2013 HTC One lineup. A smaller variant named the HTC One Mini was released in August 2013

In August 2013, HTC debuted a new "Here's To Change" global marketing campaign featuring actor Robert Downey, Jr., who signed a two-year contract to be HTC's new "Instigator of Change.".

A larger variant named the HTC One Max was released in October 2013. Similar in design and features to the HTC One, the upgraded aspects of the One Max include a display measuring 5.9 inches (15 cm), a fingerprint sensor and a removable back cover for expandable memory. The product was released into the European and Asian retail environment in October 2013, followed by a US launch in early November 2013.

In March 2014, HTC released the HTC One (M8), the next version of the HTC One flagship, at press conferences in London and New York City. In a change from previous launches, the HTC One was made available for purchase on the company website and North American mobile carrier websites on the same day a few hours after the launch.

In April 2014, HTC reported sales climbing 12.7 percent to NT$22.1 billion, the company's fastest growth since October 2011.

In August 2014 HTC announced a Windows Phone-powered variant of the One (M8), their first using the operating system since 2012. HTC ended its long relationship with Microsoft afterwards due to Nokia's dominance in Windows Phone devices, and started focusing solely on Android.

In September 2014, Google selected HTC to make its Nexus 9 tablet.

On 1 March 2015, HTC unveiled Vive, a virtual reality head-mounted display in collaboration with Valve.

In June and October 2015, HTC reported net losses; the company has faced increased competition from other smartphone makers, including Apple, Samsung, and others, which had resulted in a decline in its smartphone sales, as well a major loss of market share. Its smartphone market share had risen back to 7.2 percent in April 2015 due to its strong sales of recent devices, but HTC's stock price had fallen by 90 percent since 2011.

In November 2016, HTC reported that it had sold at least 140,000 Vive units, and that each unit was being sold at a profit.

In January 2017, HTC unveiled its new U series smartphone line, the U Play and U Ultra; the company described the U series as a "new direction" for its phones, emphasizing an integrated virtual assistant developed by the company.

In February 2017, HTC reported that in the fourth quarter of 2016, its operating losses had decreased by 13% year-over-year, citing "robust sales performance" and sequential revenue increases throughout the year.

On 21 September 2017, Google announced that it would acquire roughly half of the 4,000 employees who worked in HTC's design and research staff, and non-exclusive licenses to smartphone-related intellectual property held by HTC, for US$1.1 billion. The employees included the team involved with Google's Pixel smartphone, which was manufactured by HTC. Google stated that the purchase was part of its efforts to bolster its first-party hardware business. The transaction was completed on 30 January 2018; while HTC will continue to produce its own smartphones, the company has stated that it planned to increase its focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality going forward.

In July 2018 HTC has revealed that it has entered into a partnership with games and apps developer and publisher Animoca. This includes product development and joint collaboration in areas such as games, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality. Animoca's games will be pre-installed on HTC devices in the future.

On 5 February 2019 HTC released its first "Crytophone", focused on providing universal finance through Bitcoin and creating a portal towards realizing a truly decentralized web.

On 11 May 2019, HTC announced that its Cryptophone will be the first smartphone to support a bitcoin full node.

On 17 September 2019 HTC appointed Yves Maitre, former executive vice president of consumer equipment and partnerships of Orange, as CEO where Cher Wang will continue her role as chairwoman.