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Profit falls 30% at smartphone maker HTC

Smartphone maker HTC's first-quarter net profit dropped 30 percent from last year thanks to the one-two punch of the global economic downturn and delayed shipments of some new products, the company said.The Taiwan-based handset maker, best known for the Touch Pro and T-Mobile G1 phones, said its net profit fell to 4.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Smartphone maker HTC's first-quarter net profit dropped 30 percent from last year thanks to the one-two punch of the global economic downturn and delayed shipments of some new products, the company said.

The Taiwan-based handset maker, best known for the Touch Pro and T-Mobile G1 phones, said its net profit fell to 4.89 billion New Taiwan dollars ($146.7 million USD) in the three months ended March 31, from NT$6.94 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell 3.4 percent.

[Full PDF Report: HTC March 2009 and Q1 2009]

HTC's slump comes despite strong performance at the end of 2008 and increasing popularity of its Touch line of smartphones. As late as February, the company estimated its sales would grow by double-digit percentages in 2009.

Whoops.

Worse, competitor RIM just reported its best-ever quarter -- meaning the drop in phone sales may have been absorbed by others, including HTC. (Apple and other mobile companies have yet to announce Q1 results.)

HTC did not specify which models represented the "delayed shipments" in question, but one candidate may be the HTC Magic, which was pushed back to May in Europe and originally supposed to arrive on American shores this month via T-Mobile [Read Smartphones & Cell Phones blogger Matthew Miller's take versus Apple's iPhone]. Both versions depend on the Cupcake update of Google Android, which adds a virtual keyboard needed to use the phone.

Still, HTC "maintains the view of double digits growth this year," and if its revenues continue on their current trajectory -- down 16.78% in January and 4.41% February but back up 12.03% in March -- the company may indeed meet its plans.

More HTC on ZDNet:

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