HTC had a touch year, 2012, and the toughness in the sales and revenue generation is coming along with the calendar to this year as well. The projections for the first quarter of 2013 already show a very steep fall in revenue for the Taiwanese company. The company announced that the first quarter profits can come down by up to 17% compared to the last quarter. Even with the seasonal market, this is a huge loss.
The reason for this shift is that the market share of the company in the two main platforms, Android and Windows Phone, is now being consumed by other players. The Android ecosystem is being dominated by Samsung’s Galaxy range of smart phones, and the Windows Phone market is taken over by Nokia’s Lumia portfolio. Even though HTC has high end alternatives to these smart phones, the HTC One series of Android smart phones, and the HTC Titan and 8X series of Windows Phone smart phones, the public is walking towards Samsung and Nokia for the respective platforms.
The HTC 8X range of Windows Phone smart phones is very identical to the Nokia Lumia 920 in various aspects, and the Taiwanese manufacturer is expected to come out with an identical range of Android smart phones in the month of February. But even this is not expected to bring back HTC to the profit range it once had. “Profits are down. Q1 is already missing market expectations. Gross margins are looking to be down 2% from 23% in Q4 2012,” says Forbes.
Forbes also says, “HTC’s answer is not to move to cheaper smartphones to increase unit sales, but to look to China as their saviour. Which sounds remarkably like the strategy of every smartphone handset manufacturer in 2013. China, where Android has over 90% of the market through a mix of mainstream handsets and Chinese Android variants such as Meizu’s MX range. Where Nokia and Samsung already have beach-heads and certified devices ready to go on sale.”
So, will you be willing to buy a cheaper HTC handset if by any chance there is one? Or would be prefer to buy a cheaper handset from another manufacturer? And if almost all of the manufacturers concentrate on pleasing the Chinese market, what about the rest of the world? HTC already has offers in China in which you get a smaller Bluetooth phone which pairs with your HTC Butterfly so that you will not have to take your smart phone all the time. And this is supposed to be a China-only offer. Isn’t the rest of the world missing out on such offers?