HTC announces 90% drop in profits
Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has recorded a 90 per cent slump in profits after it announced fourth quarter earnings
A couple of years ago, HTC was one of the most popular smartphone brands in the world but the Taiwanese company has taken a pounding from the likes of Apple and Samsung over the past twelve months.
The writing was on the wall as the company announced fourth quarter net profits of T$1bn (£21m) - a far cry from the T$11 it was pulling in back in 2011.
The figures are a 90 per cent drop in net profit and well below analysts' expectations. Many cite the faliure of HTC to deliver a killer handset last year that could take the fight to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5.
"This time 6 months ago, HTC products accounted for 37% of all mobile related searches on our site and this has now slipped to less than 8%. It is clear that they are falling behind the big brands not only in terms of innovation and design, but also in the realms of consumer engagement," said George Charles, marketing director of VoucherCodesPro.co.uk.
The future looks a little uncertain for HTC at the moment. The company has a new flagship handset waiting in the wings, but analysts are still sceptical it has the cojones to compete with the elite handsets.
"The first three months of this year will be better than the fourth quarter [of 2012], which was really bad, but HTC's earnings might not have bottomed [out] in 2012 if its flagship M7 sales disappoint this year," Birdy Lu, an analysit at Daiwa Capital Markets told the BBC.
"The new phone could have a first-mover advantage for one or two months before Samsung launches its Galaxy S4 in April, but in the long run, it's difficult to beat Samsung's phones."
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