Print 19 comment(s) - last by ritualm.. on May 6 at 2:38 AM

HTC One could be company's last big shot at relevance as profits near zero

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) confirmed on Thursday that it had badly missed Q1 earnings targets, posting the worst ever quarter in its young history.  The phonemaker pulled in NT$42.8B ($1.42B USD), but made very little profit, earning only NT$85M ($2.83M USD) after taxes.  Both revenue and profits missed expectations.

Looking ahead to Q2, HTC hopes revenue will rise to NT$70B ($2.37B USD) and to boost it's operating margin to between 1 and 3 percent, up from 0.1 percent in Q1.

HTC is looking forwards to the release of its 1080p flagship Android smartphone, the HTC One, (and possibly the not-yet-announced HTC One Mini) to nearly double revenues on a QoQ basis.  Embattled HTC CEO Peter Chou comments, "This was a pivotal quarter for HTC.  In February our teams set a new standard for smartphones, launching the new HTC One. The reviews of fans and critics alike have been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to delivering on the promise of this device."
HTC BlinkFeed
HTC is counting on the One to bring its revenue back to life. [Image Source: HTC]

The HTC One has indeed garnered strong reviews, with reviewers in most cases preferring it to the Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:A005930) flagship Galaxy S IV.  However, HTC's sales struggles have led some suppliers to downgrade it in terms of order priority, which has led to parts shortages and delays.  HTC also saw the One banned in the Netherlands after Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) successfully argued that HTC's microphone supplier had stolen proprietary technology from Nokia to use in the One.

If the HTC One succeeds HTC may return to growth.  But if it flops HTC Peter Chou is expected to resign, having told executives as much in a meeting (reportedly) last fall.  HTC is undergoing a major shift in its marketing, ditching its "Quietly Brilliant" motto, and adopting a more loudly belligerent marketing stance, similar to rivals Samsung and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) snarky marketing departments.

Source: HTC

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Lovely looking device.. but..
By piroroadkill on 5/2/2013 11:05:29 AM , Rating: 3
Although it doesn't matter to many, the chance of a removable battery and microSD would have sent many more sales to the One than the GS4...

.. The next problem? It ships with 4.1.2. People who've had HTC devices before have no doubt been burned by the total lack of updates. Shipping your flagship with an out of date OS sends a warning signal that people don't like.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By Brandon Hill on 5/2/2013 11:12:06 AM , Rating: 2
microSD slot, yeah that would be idea. But a removable battery? Do people really care about that anymore?

By crimson117 on 5/2/2013 11:19:54 AM , Rating: 4
I imagine business travelers would be interested in that, especially a year or two after buying the phone when the battery is wearing out and no longer lasts all day.

But I agree the SD expansion slot offers much more utility - especially considering the cost of on-board storage vs Mini SD cards.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By bug77 on 5/2/2013 12:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
Considering not many batteries can make it through a day of heavy usage, I'd say yes. Especially since I think heavy users and buyers of flagship models are one and the same group.
Plus, should my battery die, how do I wipe the phone before sending it in for a replacement? Because we all know what happens to your data if you don't wipe it clean.

By kmmatney on 5/2/2013 1:19:37 PM , Rating: 1
If the battery dies, will it still work if plugged into a wall?

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By rountad on 5/2/2013 12:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
I do. I have a larger capacity battery in my GS3.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By Apone on 5/2/2013 1:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
But a removable battery? Do people really care about that anymore?

I guess it depends on preference. Me personally, I favor modularity for my laptop and phone battery because I'm that kind of person who likes the option to be able to take it apart and swap parts out, etc. Case in point, my HTC Thunderbolt is on its third battery (warranty replacement battery finally died so I picked up an aftermarket flavor) and the phone is still going strong which has saved me $$$ from having to get a new phone.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By ritualm on 5/2/2013 1:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
If the battery is easily user-replaceable I don't care at all that it's non-removable.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By kmmatney on 5/2/2013 1:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
I generally agree, and with Apple products it's no problem. My ancient iPod shuffle and 1st-gen nano batteries are still going strong after all these years. All the iPhones and iPod touches we've had in the family have had no noticeable battery degradation over time. However I'm not sure I trust HTC quite yet, as I've already had to replace batteries in my wife's HTC EVO, and her LG Optimus also needed a new battery in less than 2 years.

By theapparition on 5/2/2013 3:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not quite sure I get your point.

Neither Apple or HTC manufactures batteries. In reality, there are very few batter manufacturers left. Very likely, those batteries came from the same place.

It probably has a lot more to do with usage scenarios rather than differences between batteries. With that said, I've had battery problems with Apple devices which I've replaced myself.

By piroroadkill on 5/5/2013 6:46:07 AM , Rating: 2
I personally don't care much about the removable battery - I have a Razr Maxx HD - but I know some people do. I only cared about the micro SD slot.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2013 1:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
HTC one and DNA are the killer android phones on the market right now. I can't imagine why they aren't doing well.

RE: Lovely looking device.. but..
By ritualm on 5/6/2013 2:38:00 AM , Rating: 2
HTC spent a pittance on marketing, whereas Samsung burned billions, and the results showed up directly in their respective quarterly financials calls.

By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2013 1:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
.. The next problem? It ships with 4.1.2. People who've had HTC devices before have no doubt been burned by the total lack of updates. Shipping your flagship with an out of date OS sends a warning signal that people don't like.

Yup, that is one nice thing about my galaxy nexus.

By Freeseus on 5/3/2013 6:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
4.1.2 is the only reason I don't want to buy the HTC one.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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