Next quarter will be better, it insistsTaiwanese smartphone maker HTC has suffered a deeper-than-expected first quarter loss, as its market share continues to slide – with it now standing at around 2 per cent. Despite rave reviews for its flagship smartphones, HTC sales remain modest and in the three months to April 2014 it posted a 22.6 per cent drop in revenues to 33.12 billion Taiwanese dollars (£659 million). But it insists it is likely to return to profit in Q2 following the late-March release of its upgraded flagship smartphone, the HTC One M8. In recent months it has also slashed costs dramatically in a bid to bolster its share price which has lost nearly 90 per cent since its April 2011 peak.
It means HTC is dwarfed by rivals such as Apple and Samsung, having once held the No.3 slot, with the spectre of ill-fated BlackBerry now looming ominously over it.
It also faces rising competition from firms such as China’s Lenovo, which recently bought Google’s Motorola division and could soon start pumping out inexpensive, branded smartphones.
*Footnote: Meanwhile Korean giant Samsung estimates that operating profits in Q1 fell from the same period a year ago, though the drop is not as much as analysts feared thanks largely to the company’s strategy of making cheaper phones for emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.