HTC's profits slump

Taiwanese industry powerhouse HTC saw its first quarter profits drop 70 percent compared to the year before as it lost out to other, more popular smartphone makers.

Although it was in profit, with first quarter net income to the tune of $151 million, the numbers are fiercely less impressive than a year earlier. They were also in line with Bloomberg’s analyst average estimates.

CFO Winston Yung admitted earlier this year that HTC hadn’t done enough to win customers over with new products during the fourth quarter. He said the company’s first quarter would be transitional, but did not indicate what, precisely, it would be transitioning into. Apple’s iPhone presented HTC with stiff competition, but more worrying will be Samsung, which has been getting it right with a slew of Android phones which have really stood up to Cupertino.

Yung also admitted that HTC’s product design “could be better”.

There is some optimism about the company’s future. HTC did expect the first quarter results to be less than impressive, but it has new products on the way, including the HTC One X, and will continue to nibble at the ankles of Apple and Samsung, if not claw for the top spot.

HTC’s main draw for the consumers, at least in terms of its marketing, has been teaming up with Beats by Dr Dre – we thought it was a joke when we got the press release. Clearly the consumer voted with its feet late last year and opted for swish alternatives from Samsung and Apple instead.