Beleaguered smartphone producer HTC has seen its profits drop by 91 per cent year-on-year, according to the Taiwanese firm's unaudited results for the fourth quarter of 2012.
The $34.5 million (£21.44m) profit represents HTC's worst financial performance since 2004 and marks a $99m drop from its Q3 profit of $133m. It's an even bleaker picture when compared with the previous year, with HTC's Q4 figures representing a $322m drop on profits made between October and December 2011.
Despite recent turbulence, analyst forecasts had suggested HTC's profits would reach the $50m mark – but the firm has fallen some way short of such predictions.
While HTC used to produce the world's best-selling Android smartphones, it has fallen way down the pecking order in recent times, with consumers increasingly favouring Android devices by other manufactuers, such as Samsung's Galaxy S III. Apple's ever-popular iPhone has also helped to squeeze HTC out of the market.
Despite the highly negative financial reports, HTC chief executive Peter Chou insists the firm can claw its way back into the fray through a combination of unique products and marketing.
"Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring lots of money into marketing. We haven't done enough on the marketing front," he said.
"Although we don't have as much money to counter [Samsung and Apple], the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers," Chou added.
HTC is widely expected to launch a new flagship phone code-named ‘M7' during the imminent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with analysts predicting the new model will be available from March. The firm will hope its upcoming devices can match the success of its formerly popular 'Desire' smartphones.
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