HTC partnered with Google to launch the Android platform, but it has struggled to remain relevant in the face of ever-increasing competition from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and Apple. The company has been losing money quarter after quarter for years, but this may be the beginning of the end. After releasing its latest flagship phone, HTC’s sales fell by the largest margin yet.
According to HTC’s latest numbers, it took in $72 million (2.2 billion Taiwanese dollars) during June. That compares to $226.5 million (6.9 billion Taiwanese dollars) in June of 2017. This is a whopping 68 percent year-over-year decline. Sales were even a few million lower than they were in May, suggesting an ongoing downward trend.
Such a huge drop in sales would be bad under any circumstances, but this comes just as HTC has launched a new phone. The U12+ is the company’s latest attempt to win back market share, but the phone has received largely negative reviews. The U12+ doesn’t have any physical buttons, relying instead on pressure-sensitive nubs that plug into the “Edge Sense” squeeze feature. The experience is terrible. I feel like HTC is falling apart after using this phone. No functional company could greenlight that phone. There are also no US carrier deals, and the phone costs $800.
HTC doesn’t provide profits on a monthly basis, so we don’t know how much it lost during June. It’s certain to have lost something, though. In the most recent quarter, HTC bled about $170 million. Even if its losses remain steady for the rest of the year, that would be $680 million. You may recall HTC pulled in $1.1 billion from a deal involving the transfer of 2,000 engineers to Google. That money isn’t going to last long with HTC hemorrhaging money like this.
These disappointing monthly results come on the heels of HTC’s announcement that it plans to lay off a quarter of its existing workforce, some 1,500 individuals. HTC had nearly 20,000 workers in 2013, but its fortunes had already started to turn at that point. Its share of the smartphone market peaked in 2011 at 10.7 percent. Currently, HTC makes up less than 1 percent of the global market.
HTC has been doing the same thing for years, and that thing hasn’t worked. Its hardware, software, warranty support, and cloud services are falling behind even newer competitors like OnePlus. Unless HTC can pull off a miracle, it’s probably destined to be acquired for its patent portfolio.
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