HTC One’s launch under the microscope: revenues up but could have been better

by: Robert TriggsMay 8, 2013


Many have been watching the launch of the HTC One with particularly keen interest, not simply because it’s a nice piece of hardware, but because it has the potential to make or break its manufacturer. Many have been forecasting doom and gloom on the horizon for the veteran Android smartphone developer, and the unsteady launch of the HTC One didn’t help to assuage these concerns.

However, HTC has posted figures for its first full month’s revenue since the launch of the HTC One, which, fortunately for HTC, show that things are starting to look a little better.

HTC’s Figures

Since the initial launch of the HTC One back in March, HTC has witnessed a month to month growth in its revenues, finally pulling the company out of a decline lasting almost a year.

HTC Monthly Revenue April 2013

The most recent monthly statement puts HTC’s revenue at just over $NT19 billion ($642 million), up from March’s $NT16 billion. Between February and March HTC witnessed a very healthy 40% increase in revenues, avoiding another record low for the company. Similarly, April also saw an additional 23% jump in total revenue, resulting in a 72% total boost since February.

One can’t help but wonder however, just how much HTC’s bottom line would have benefited from a smoother launch. There’s little doubt that the component shortages and resulting staggered release dates put a dent in the company’s income, after all the handset has been out less than a month in the U.S., one of the world’s leading markets for high end smartphones.

Next month’s figures will provide an ever clearer picture as to how the One is being received on a world wide scale.

Consumer reception

According to research conducted by, whereby they conducted a survey of 20 AT&T and Sprint stores in the Los Angeles area, sales for the HTC One are good, but not excellent. Unsurprisingly, the results suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S4 sold more units in a shorter space of time, but that’s not to say that the One is selling poorly.

Slightly more worryingly though, the survey also found that consumers are returning their HTC One’s for issues ranging from dead pixels to blown speakers. This isn’t a common complaint that I’ve heard about, but hardware faults could seriously dent the One’s reputation, which in turn will hurt HTC’s fragile bottom line.

On the whole though, the HTC One has been very well received. It’s had stellar reviews across the board and consumers seem very pleased, which is clearly translating into sales.

Vs Samsung’s Galaxy S4

Regardless of individual preferences, the Galaxy S4 is going to be the benchmark against which other high-end smartphones will be measured this year. Perhaps this is rather unfair, as Samsung has spent a lot more money on marketing and seems to have a much larger brand presence than HTC does, at least here in the UK.

samsung galaxy s4 vs htc one standings aa

Even so, you couldn’t have imagined a more different launch for two premium handsets. While HTC was struggling to even roll devices off the manufacturing belt, Samsung had to delay shipments and limit stock due to an unprecedented level of pre-orders.

Availability of the One was, and is some cases still is, heavily dependent on where you live. North America and most of the Asia-Pacific regions had to wait weeks before stock arrived, which slowed HTC’s momentum down considerably. In fact, the One is still suffering delays in places like India.

But it’s not been a terrible launch for HTC; the SIM-unlocked models, developer editions, and T-Mobile pre-orders sold out in an incredibly short space of time. In fact, both handsets managed to sell out their pre-orders, which is certainly impressive.

No-one can deny that HTC could have done a lot better launching such an important product, but fortunately the handset’s quality appears to be speaking for itself.

Looking to the second half of the year

The past couple of months have been good for HTC, and it looks like the company is well on track to reach its second quarter revenue target of $NT 70 billion, which should go some way to convince investors that HTC is finally coming out of its prolonged slump.

HTC Quarterly Revenue

But let’s take a reality check. HTC’s immediate financial security seems completely tied in to the HTC One, so the handset will have to have some serious market staying power if HTC expects the revenue to keep rolling in. This is still a pretty precarious situation to be in.

Overall, this is certainly a promising start for HTC’s flagship smartphone. HTC needed to create a great device that would be appreciated by a consumer base which was feeling a little disillusioned with the company, and it’s managed to produce quality when it counted most. However HTC isn’t in the clear yet, there are still three more quarters left in the year. The HTC One is going to need some serious market presence if it’s going to single handily hold the company up for the whole year.

  • bfo

    Shortages are also apparent in some parts of EU, as Austria still has not received any considerable quantities of HTC One. And reports on some HTC Official Facebook pages suggest that some of the shipments reserved for some smaller markets in EU are being routed to Germany and other larger markets.

    Also there is a large number of people on HTC DACH (HTC Official Facebook page reserved for Germany, Austria, Switzerland) reporting hardware faults with their phones, ranging from problems with speakers, dead pixels, to aluminium body picking up some paint from cases or trousers pockets…

    • dandroid13

      HTCrap is and always will be a big fail, no matter how much these fanboys who call themselves from “tech press” try to make us think.


        Aluminum unibody!!!!!!!!

        • dandroid13

          It protects your screen when you drop your device on purpose!!! Plastic is crap!!!!

  • samroid

    i predict htcrap will file for ch11 within a yr or two not cause the phones r so horrible but due to strong competition.

  • Andy

    Well what did you expect with all the delays?

    If HTC ONE was lancing on time and it was available in both colors sales would have been much higher than are now.

    HTC’s failure relies within the company and not in the strong competition. They had a poor coordination and that had as a result great devices such HTC ONE to fail because are coming late to the market….

  • David Brymer

    give me an htc one over the s4 any day.

  • Jared Persinger

    Well I certainly am enjoying mine and I would recommend the htc one to almost anybody

  • Rohan patel

    Hell I took my htc one out at school and everyone instantly knew what it was and I even showed some people why it’s better then the s4 so they are buying it too.

    • John Mortimer

      Sorry whats better than the s4 but may be the looks, even with the new firmware update the photos are now better with the flash, please note the reported disk limit of 9gb is a joke I tell you now its been limited by Samsung as there is now no slow down at all when you down to 200mb

  • jieng


    No Thank S4 I am From Singapore.

  • Greg

    Got at least 5 dead or stuck pixels on my HTC One. Not acceptable.