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HTC Battles Tough Smartphone Market

Published: February 5, 2013 | 8:13 am
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HTC is not out of the woods yet.

The Taiwanese smartphone maker on Monday gave grim guidance for the first quarter, predicting up to a 17% decline in revenue from the fourth quarter and a razor-thin operating margin, meaning it’s close to not making a profit from every phone it sells.

A lot will be riding on the new flagship phone the company plans to launch in February. Details on the new product are scarce, but Chief Financial Officer Chang Chia-lin said he is confident that second-quarter revenue will likely rise from the $1.69 billion-$2.03 billion range tipped for the first quarter, thanks to the new flagship product which he “feels very strongly about” and the growth in emerging markets.

HTC has come a long way down from 2010, when it was the top seller of Android phones in the U.S. and considered a hip brand because of its early adoption of the Windows and Android operating systems. Now it’s being squeezed by Samsung and Apple in developed markets and Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. in emerging markets. HTC’s comeback bid last year–the launch of the One series of smartphones–also fell flat.


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