Booming Mid-Range Smartphone Sales Help HTC Post First Revenue Gain In 3 Years
Down in the basement on my workbench littered with PC parts, floppy disks, and other tech items from past eras is an HTC Dream, otherwise known as the T-Mobile G1. It's thick, heavy, and slow by today's standards, but it's notable as being the first commercially available Android phone. It also set in motion a series of record-breaking quarters and profits for HTC, though these days the company has been rendered an also-ran, a tag that applies to any handset maker not named Samsung or Apple.
Fortunately for HTC, the one constant in the tech industry is that the landscape is always changing, which helps explain why HTC just posted its first quarterly revenue growth in over three years. HTC was able to do so by focusing on new mid-range handsets, essentially conceding the high-end space to Apple and, to an extent, Samsung as well (though Galaxy S5 sales have been disappointing).
Image Source: Flickr (Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)
According to HTC's latest unaudited financial report, quarterly revenue for its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014 reached NT$47.87 billion (US$1.5 billion), up from NT$42.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) a year prior. That left HTC with a net profit (before tax) of NT$470 million (US$14.7 million), beating out the NT$212 million average of more than a dozen analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Though HTC isn't able to touch Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices in combined sales, the company is getting by with its One variants, along with contracts to manufacture devices for Google, such as the Nexus 9 tablet. The company will also make a go at GoPro with a competing wearable camera that, if priced low enough, could be a big seller.