HTC missed fourth quarter 2012 forecasts as profit dropped 91 percent year-over-year according to Reuters. HTC’s downward spiral has been due in large part to the uptick of Samsung and has been continuing since the second half of 2011 when the company hit its high note in its global efforts to compete with Apple. This of course, as happened despite the overall positive reception of the HTC One smartphone line.
HTC is expected to launch a GSM-compatible flagship phone code-named “M7” — which is very similar to the HTC Droid DNA — in the beginning of this year, according to several analysts citing channel checks. The model could be delayed from its original release date of February to after March.
HTC is also in the midst of a dramatic shift in marketing and looks to bolster its brand image this year. This couldn’t come at a more important time for the company; HTC’s profit of $34.48 million — down from around $330 million a year earlier — is the lowest the company has seen since 2004, so it’s very clear that the company will need to reinvent itself if it hopes to survive.
“Q1 will be better than Q4 as Q4 was really bad, but full-year speaking, HTC’s EPS might not have bottomed in 2012 if its flagship M7 sales disappoint this year,” said Birdy Lu, analyst of Daiwa Capital Markets, who added: “The new phone could have a first-mover advantage for one to two months before Samsung launches its Galaxy S4 in April, but in the long run, it’s difficult to beat Samsung’s phones.”
HTC has recently started increasing its Windows Phone 8 lineup, but with Samsung moving into that territory with their own WP8 devices as well, it awaits to be seen what a new brand image for the company will be able to do.