HTC Badly Misses Profit Expectations, Delayed HTC One Final Starts to Trickle Out
April 8, 2013 1:00 PM
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Things aren't looking very good for Taiwan's top Android phonemaker
Six quarters have came and went, and in each one Taiwan's HTC Corp. (
) has seen its once rising star turn into a financial failure. But this most recent one was arguably as bad as any as the Android smartphone maker's
unaudited Q1 2013
earnings have badly missed on analyst earnings expectations.
I. Another Miss
of 19 analysts by
had predicted a net profit of NT$600M ($19.97M USD). A separate
of 16 analysts by UK-based
, a Pearson PLC unit (
), predicted a slightly leaner NT$287M ($9.56M USD). Instead, HTC managed to miss both targets, essentially breaking even for the quarter with a net earnings of NT$85M ($2.83M USD).
Revenue fell to a new low of NT$42.8B ($1.42B USD), versus a
analyst prediction of NT$54.7B ($1.82B USD) or a
analyst prediction of NT$53.8B ($1.79B USD).
HTC is on the brink of no longer turning a profit. [Image Source: Reuters]
Worse yet, the operating margin -- a measure of profitability -- was around 0.1 percent, less than the 0.5-1 percent HTC had forecasted. To put that in perspective, Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) has a margin of 14.4 percent; while Apple has an industry-leading operating margin of around 33.46 percent.
HTC has seen its profits shattered over the last year and a half. [Image Source: Gadget Stress]
HTC's new marketing chief Benjamin Ho has tried ardently to reinvent the company's image,
scrapping its "quietly brilliant" motto
a more belligerent advertising stance
towards rivals. However, his efforts have been
hampered by delays
to HTC's flagship
HTC One 1080p Android smartphone
, delays that originated from a snub from a camera components retailer who had downgraded the Taiwanese OEM from "preferred" status.
II. More Trouble Ahead
HTC is slowly ramping up HTC One production and sales this month. However, that leaves it with a far leaner window to market before
Samsung's hot Galaxy S IV
than it anticipated. The Galaxy S IV launches on April 26.
The HTC One suffered a costly delay due to a parts snub. [Image Source: HTC]
Taipei, Taiwan-based Yuanta Securities Comp. (
) warns that the dire Q1 2013 financials may only be a precursor to the Q2 2013 bloodbath, saying that the HTC One shipping delays will cost the phonemaker. Yuanta analyst Dennis Cheng comments to
, "These numbers show the production shortage really is that bad, and my sense is that it won’t get much better in the second quarter because many of those issues continue. For smartphones, timing is everything and the delay means they lose that timing."
Sources close to the company have said that HTC's
embattled long-time CEO Peter Chou
had told employees late last year that he would step down if the HTC One did not reverse his struggling firm's fortunes.
The worst is not yet over for HTC. [Image Source: SOC Wallpapers]
largest U.S. phonemaker in late 2011
, HTC today is no longer even the second largest
phonemaker, passed by China's ZTE Corp. (
Technologies Comp. (
Aside from shipping delays one under-examined factor in HTC's decline is the cost of the
"patent tax" paid to Microsoft
, Inc. (
). While HTC did
brag about getting a "bargain" from Apple
in terms of patent licensing, and it at least no longer has to worry about bans, it reportedly must pay $10 USD per device to Microsoft and around $5 USD to Apple per device. That's far from HTC's only problem, but paying licensing fees is one more factor battering the phonemaker's margins.
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RE: What a shame...
4/9/2013 1:39:06 AM
Not to mention the GS4 has a gigantic battery compared to the One. I think the simple fact is a large phone like the GS4 would be WAY too heavy if it had an aluminum unibody.
RE: What a shame...
4/9/2013 3:12:58 AM
It just seems like engineering that isn't as optimal as it should be. It is absolutely possible to slim things down farther, again that's the whole point of taking out the mounting hardware for batteries and memory. If you can't get things smaller and thinner by removing all of those things then something went wrong. How much larger would the One have been had they included removable batteries and storage?
The enclosure, the internal arrangement of the PCB and the battery and antennas, the arrangement of chips on the PCB itself, there are numerous places that can be optimized. Now I'm
curious to see a teardown on the One.
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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