HTC today announced its quarterly financial results, revealing an operating loss of NT$3.5 billion ($119 million). This is the first quarterly loss in HTC’s company history.
The loss comes on revenue of just NT$47.05 billion ($1.6 billion). Earnings per share of the company have fallen around NT$3.58 ($0.12) per share during the quarter.
In many ways, HTC’s recent financial report mirrors a similar one from BlackBerry, in which the Canadian smartphone manufacturer announced a $965 million quarterly loss. Dismal sales numbers can only be deferred on balance sheets for so long, and both companies have lost market share as Samsung has begun to dominate the Android ecosystem.
However, unlike BlackBerry, HTC did not sit on its laurels as the iPhone and Google’s Android rapidly shifted the smartphone landscape. When modern smartphones first began appearing, HTC was one of the first premium vendors for Android devices. Google even chose the manufacturer as its partner for its first Nexus phone, the Nexus One. HTC has continued to manufactures some of the most advanced smartphones ever created.
With poor hardware quality not to blame for HTC’s woes, management and marketing strategies have been called into question. The company has lost most of its Android market share in the past two years, mostly from declining shares in the U.S. and Europe. At the same time, Samsung has been able to assume the mantle of Android market leader, even challenging Apple with its lineup of Galaxy-branded devices.
If it hopes to survive, HTC will have to find a way to compete in emerging markets such as Brazil and China, which are expected to be the next big growth markets for low-priced smartphones. An expensive marketing campaign starring Robert Downey, Jr. is unlikely to turn the company around on its own.