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[January 05, 2014]
Smartphones Poor reception for latest quarterly results at HTC
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has reported a worse-than-expected net fourth-quarter profit despite aggressive cost-cutting and more than pounds 50m from selling its stake in the company behind Beats by Dr Dre headphones.
HTC reported net profit of pounds 6.1m, compared with a profit of pounds 20.7m in the same quarter of 2012. The number highlights how quickly problems have piled up at a company that just over two years ago supplied one in 10 smartphones sold around the world.
The company, which has lost nearly three-quarters of its market value in the past two years, is now worth about pounds 2.4bn, dwarfed by rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics.
New management installed in the last quarter to tackle that slide must persuade customers the brand can still stand for stylish, feature-loaded phones.
The company's global share of the smartphone market has declined to 2.2% in the third quarter of 2013 from a peak of 10.3% in 2011, data from research firm Gartner shows.
Shuttered factories, a wave of executive departures and top-level reshuffling are symptoms of what industry insiders see as HTC's biggest problem: connecting with consumers. Reuters Taipei (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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