HTC’s Q1 2013 Sales to Be Lower than Expected
It seems that HTC simply can’t catch a break for the past year or so, and things aren’t going to improve anytime soon. In fact rumors point that HTC’s sales next quarter will be lower than expected, after the low-priced competition in China is taking sales away from them, and after their Windows Phone 8 sales are doing so poorly.
None of these seem too surprising to me, though. HTC has never been one to care much about pricing of their devices, and their phones have been consistently $50-$100 more expensive (unlocked, at retail) than their competition with very similar specs. Maybe they can get away with that in more affluent markets where they can make their phones perhaps a little bit prettier, but that won’t work in a country like China, where most citizens are very sensitive about pricing.
The poor sales of WP8 devices also do not surprise me, even though HTC was the premiere partner for the WP8 launch. The market has consistently rejected the idea of WP8 so far, and at best they were willing to tolerate it if the devices themselves look very impressive design wise – but that’s about it. This advantage won’t last long anyway, as Android smartphones begin to look much better, while still having much more functionality and many more apps and higher quality than the WP8 ecosystem.
HTC expects their predicted growth of 30% to drop to 15%, although even that growth may be wiped out if the Galaxy S4 makes big waves again in the market, and HTC does once again a poor job at promoting their next flagship. The One X was a very competitive phone, but people quickly forgot about it and started thinking only about Galaxy S4, when HTC didn’t go a good job at marketing.
The fact that they turned the “One X” into multiple devices with different names, didn’t help them at all, as it diluted that shrunk that brand a lot, to the point where One X was just another Android smartphone in a sea of other Android smartphones. Hopefully, HTC has learned their lesson for next year, but I wouldn’t bet on it, until I actually see it happening.