HTC reports $804m revenue for August; still 'quietly sinking'

Summary:Another month of revenue decline, HTC is "quietly in trouble" as the Taiwanese firm struggles to keep its head above the water in the mobile market space.

"Quietly brilliant," goes its tagline. Shouldn't that be, "quietly in trouble?"

HTC announced on Thursday said its August sales figures totalled $804 million (NT$24 billion) down from around $835 million (NT$25 billion) in July; $31 million less on the month prior.

Screen Shot 2012-09-07 at 09.20.05
HTC smartphone running Windows Phone software. Credit: Josh Miller/CNET

If you haven't kept up to date with HTC, the firm is in dire need of something -- anything -- to get the company back on its feet again.

Since January, the firm has reported consolidated revenues of a meager $6.98 billion (NT$207.9 billion). The firm's second-quarter earnings alone just over two months ago r eported a 57 percent decline in net profit , from $585.9 million a year ago to $247.7 million at the last quarterly count. 

It's depressing to watch. It's watching a very slow moving car head towards a cliff edge.

Samsung, LG and Apple continue to dominate with a collective 60 percent of the U.S. market, according to the latest comScore figures . Samsung alone has a quarter of that pie alone. While HTC remains in the top five mobile manufacturers' table, it gained only marginally by 0.4 percent to 6.4 percent of the overall U.S. market.

The truth is: since RIM's falling off the edge of the edge of the top five table earlier this year, HTC rose up the ranks. It wasn't through sheer hard work or exception sales on HTC's part, it was only by chance that the decline of a smartphone rival would result in the table standing switch.

One of the likely reasons for August's revenue hit may not actually have much to do with phone sales at all. comScore figures suggest a marginal increase may have brought in some revenue, but investing elsewhere and in other companies may have taken the brunt of it.

Last month, HTC was hit by the OnLive restructuring and  lost out $40 million  for the privilege of investing. On the same day, the firm  injected $35 million in Magnet Systems  in return for a 17.1 percent stake -- or around one-fifth of the social and cloud enterprise applications firm.

HTC generates most of its cash from sales of Android-based devices, but keeps a diverse range of devices and operating systems in a diversity push to appeal to the wider audience. 

However, HTC is expected to announce a Windows Phone 8 handset later this month.

"Our plan is to go big on Windows [Phone] 8," said Jason Mackenzie, HTC's president of sales and marketing, to Reuters, but warned the firm would be in for a rocky ride against bigger rivals in the Windows Phone space, particularly Nokia. 

Topics: HTC, Smartphones, Tech Industry, Windows

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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