HTC profits slump 79 per cent in third quarter

By Peter Gothard
09 Oct 2012 View Comments
review of htc desire c android smartphone

Taiwanese smartphone company HTC has posted a third quarter profit drop of 79 per cent, as the gap between the company and market leaders Samsung and Apple grows ever wider.

HTC has reported a net profit of NT$3.9bn (£83m) from July to September 2012, contrasting with NT$18.689bn for the same quarter last year.

Further reading

HTC can be considered a pioneer of Android smartphones, popularising the concept with models such as the Desire and Wildfire, which offered usability on a par with Apple's offerings while weighing in at a lower price point and introducing audiences to the open source nature of the Android platform and the Google Play Store.

HTC's stock has fallen by 44 per cent since the beginning of the year and, as Samsung has recently posted a profit rise of 85 per cent for the same quarter, eerily mirroring HTC's loss, it seems difficult to see how the company can recover to recapture its market from Samsung and Apple.

A memo leaked in August 2012 by HTC founder and CEO Peter Chou acknowledged that the company was struggling to adapt to a developing smartphone market.

"HTC used to be a company where we did things quick and reacted quick," wrote Chou.

"However, the fast growth from the last two years has slowed us down... we agreed to do something, but we either didn't do it or executed it loosely."

Even critical acclaim for the One X, which appeared to be able to go up directly against Samsung's Galaxy S3, was unable to reverse HTC's fortunes, shipping a reported 9.1 million units worldwide between April and June 2012 compared to Samsung's 50.3 million total.

The HTC 8X and 8S – the company's first dedicated Windows 8 phones – could help to reverse the company's ailing fortunes. Going up against the latest models in Nokia's Lumia range, the phones could offer a smartphone solution for those seeking an alternative to Nokia's camera-focused approach to Windows 8 hardware.

Nokia and Microsoft's historically close relationship, however, could still give the Finnish company the edge with Windows 8, as hinted at by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop last week as he spoke of hardware "exclusivities" for the upcoming Nokia range.

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