HTC continues on its downward spiral.
They have just released the numbers for August and the sales dropped another 4% compared to July. HTC sold $NT24.019 ($800 million) worth of smartphones last month, compared to $NT25.025 in July. That’s a whopping 47% decline from August 2011.
And this just against Samsung Galaxy S3, which is flying off the shelves at a pace of about 6-7 million units a month. I wonder what will happen when iPhone 5 starts shipping at the end of September.
It’s now becoming increasingly clear that HTC strategy to carve a name among the world’s top smartphone brands has failed, and they should start urgently looking for something new.
HTC may continue to try to break through with the new Android models, but if it didn’t work before – what can they do differently now? I’m afraid that against the brand recognition, marketing and distribution resources Samsung and Apple bring to the market, HTC has almost no chance. Heck, if Sony gets its smartphone act together, Motorola now a part of Google – those two companies may overtake HTC in a few quarters. And then we have Huawei and ZTE, with increasingly ambitious international expansion plans.
HTC also may try moving strongly into Windows Phones. And, if the platform finally takes off in Q4 – that may give a noticeable boost to HTC sales. But it will have to go against Nokia, which has a special relationship and $250 million in quarterly subsidies from Microsoft. And, if/when Samsung decides to take Windows Phone seriously – HTC will face the same problems it now has on Android.
It is getting harder and harder to see how HTC can survive long term. One thing it could try – is returning to its smartphone Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) roots – making white label smartphones for other brands. Recent rumors that HTC is working on Facebook phone and Beats smartphone may indicate that HTC has already started down that route. Let’s see if it happens and if it will work.
But the most likely fate for HTC in the next couple of years – is to become a part of a player with more resources and international smartphone ambitions. Someone like Lenovo looks like a good bet. Facebook – if it is serious about its own smartphone, maybe even Amazon might consider snapping HTC, too.
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