HTC profits way down ahead of key launch


Motorists drive past a HTC store in the Younghe district of New Taipei City on October 8, 2012. (MANDY CHENG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
April 8, 2013

Fresh off its partnership announcement with Facebook last week on the Android-based Facebook Home, HTC had news of a more troubling nature to share with investors Monday — its quarterly earnings report.

The company, reported profits had fallen 98 percent from the same period last year to $2.83 million. The Associated Press reported this was the firm’s lowest quarterly profit on record.

The company also missed its revenue projections, reporting $1.4 billion as compared to its projections of $1.6 billion for the quarter.

The dismal quarter comes after delays that have kept the company’s next flagship phone, the HTC One, out of consumer hands. Announced in February, the phone is set to hit U.S. shelves on April 19 — later than expected, following HTC’s problems getting the right components for the phone’s camera.

AT&T and Sprint have already begun taking pre-orders for the phone; T-Mobile has not announced when the HTC One will be available to its customers.

HTC needs a solid hit with the 4.7-inch smartphone, which has a tile-like menu layout that differs from its previous phones; the starting price is $199.99.

The One’s April 19 launch — as well as the company’s announcement that it will release the Facebook-skinned HTC First on Friday— gives the company the jump on Samsung’s much-anticipated release of the Galaxy S 4 later this month.

But it’s not clear if HTC will be able to retain that spotlight once Samsung’s new flagship phone hits the market.

The company, once the leading Android smartphone maker, has watched its market share shrink in the past year, with comScore reporting that it has fallen to a 9.3 percent share of the market in the United States., and January IDC numbers indicating that the Taiwanese firm was no longer in the world’s top five smartphone makers in the last quarter of 2012.

Related stories:

Apple extends lead over Samsung, HTC in U.S. ahead of Galaxy S 4, HTC One launches

HTC launches HTC One, coming to Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T

Smartphone maker HTC settles with FTC over security flaws

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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