HTC posts another quarter of operating losses, but Beats sale helped sweeten the pill

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 5, 2014

full drop down screen htc one max

For the second quarter since it went public, HTC posted an operating loss, generated by lackluster sales in what’s generally the hottest quarter of the year. Q4 2013 was the ninth consecutive quarter of declining sales for the company that was the darling of the mobile industry just a few years ago.

HTC announced an operating loss of $52 million, smaller than the operating loss of last quarter – $117 million – and slightly better than the consensus of analysts interviewed by Bloomberg. Revenue was $1.43 billion, compared with $1.57 billion in the previous three-month period. Falling revenues mean that HTC’s latest efforts to stop its abrupt slide have had little effect – in the last quarter of 2013, HTC launched the One Max phablet to tepid responses from the public and critics, as well as a series of mid-range devices destined for the Asian market. A marketing campaign centered around Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr has failed to excite buyers, in the context of strong competition from high-profile devices launched in fall, such as the LG G2, the Nexus 5, or the Xperia Z1.

The silver lining of Q4 2013 is the small net income of roughly $10 million that HTC was able to post thanks to a one-off payment of $85 million that the company received for its remaining stake in Beats. HTC announced on September 27 it would sell back its remaining 25 percent holding in Beats, after acquiring a 50 percent stake in 2011. Thanks to this money,  HTC was able to end 2014 in the black, even though the profit was smaller than analysts have anticipated. However, the core business is still bleeding, and because the successor to the One flagship will probably only ship in Q2 2014, next quarter shapes us to be even worse.

  • AndroidBoss

    Google should buy HTC.

    • MasterMuffin

      That’d maybe be too much. What next, Samsung falls in 2016 and Google buys it too? :D

      • MadCowOnAStick

        Samsung isn’t going to fall anytime soon lol they have a lot of products like insurance, construction, etc. (they built the Burj Khalifa, Petronas Twin Towers, and Taipei 101!)

        • MasterMuffin

          *Samsung Mobile :) And that 2016 was just random number!

        • Jayfeather787

          In South Korea Samsung builds cars too. For real, I am being serious, they really do build cars look it up.

          • Memphis May [S]unjay

            They build amy tanks too. Samsung is everywhere!

      • Jayfeather787

        They got the money. Google FTW!!

  • Justin Wilson

    HTC is focusing too much energy on the high end. They should take a page from Motorola’s play book and deliver an awesome midrange phone at an affordable price. My little brother’s first Android phone was an HTC and when he upgraded he chose the HTC One because he was familiar with the brand. I had an entry level HTC phone, the One V, the 5 MP camera took amazing pictures but the software sucked so bad the phone was unusable. As a result of that experience I will probably never own another HTC phone even if I could afford their high-end offering. Same goes for Samsung. My last dumb phone was from them and the menu had so many Glitches I swore I’d never own another phone made by Samsung. The key is to get them hooked on your brand at a young age with amazing entry level phone and as they get older and purchase new and better phones they are more likely to stick to your brand.

    If Motorola can’t figure out how to get decent camera tech into their phones from the midrange to the high-end then maybe Google should consider buying HTC and merge it into Motorola, If only to get their hands on some decent smart phone camera technology.

    • jbrandonf

      The money is in the high end. Motorola is making a strong push for mid end and don’t forget that older flagships make great mid range devices. Nokia owns the low end where they face stiff competition from Motorola. HTC is really faced with a tough decision here, and their current course, while better, doesn’t seem to be working.

      • casualsuede

        Exactly, the midrange is the one part of the market that is dying. Conversely, the one place where the high end will resurge is in carriers than do instalment plan pricing like tmobile Jump and Sprints One Up program. It will become a high end/low end market.

  • John Grabb

    JUST like Blackberry they are going down the tubes right fanboys? LOL

    • byebye

      … and good riddance. All this “premium” BS you constantly hear their few remaining fans spewing is nauseating. They’re just an uppity shower of apple wannabes and the vast majority of users realised this and moved to other brands.

      • AussieGreek

        Do you realize that HTC gave us android phones and the first Nexus device in the beginning you moron. Everyone except for Nokia jumped on the Android bandwagon after seeing their success.

        • John Grabb

          As all you android folks beat up Blackberry. I beat up HTC

          • AussieGreek

            Even BlackBerry users beat up BlackBerry.

      • Shark Bait

        You cannot be serious ?

    • Amine Elouakil

      If HTC dies, be ready to have lower quality Samsung plastic shit for a higher price, and I’m not even going to talk about Apple

      Competition is good for consumers, and if you thing otherwise then you are a retard

  • chaki

    And some fanboys talked about 7 hrs screen time with THE ONE :D
    I have owned several HTC handset’s. And i was hooked….
    No one denies that they make awsome phones when it comes to design or materials. But today that is not enough. Sammy goes 2-3 updates with older flagships. MY GOOOD even LG learned that update and bigger battery is essential. Just Boom and Beats doesn’t cut it anymore….

    • Amine Elouakil

      HTC is good with update, check out the One update for reference, I think they got bad publicity because of the Desire (and the terrible Thunderbolt) but for no reason really, because HTC Can’t update the phone without proper drivers from Qualcomm, heck the Galaxy S that came after wasn’t updated beyond gingerbread, yet only HTC got the shitstorm

      • casualsuede

        And don’t forget Microsoft basically abandoning their phones. How many windows phone 7 devices can be updated to wp8? The answer is ZERO.

    • AussieGreek

      HTC finally woke up and is kicking ass with update on the one.

  • Brendon Brown

    All Giants will fall … the question isn’t if the comeback is coming , its when …
    C’mon , Make the M8 or One+ the best phone ever !

  • Luka Mlinar

    The 500 is a solid phone. Friend bought it and she is happy with it. If HTC can continue to roll out more phones like that than they will start seeing green instead of red. O and letting us remove blink feed would go a long way. I know this is gonna sound silly but only reason i would never buy a HTC One is because of that blink feed. I want a clean usable home screen i can customize myself. At the moment LG is the only company that’s unselfishly thinking about users needs when it comes to customizations.

    • Justin Jordan

      In Sense 5.5 you have the option of disabling it. I’d really like an option to change the overall color palette of the skin. The Black is a bit depressing at times, but besides that it’s really clean and modern.

  • Robert John Hebert

    Th One and Max should have had the Snapdragon 800 processor. Without it, HTC will go down the tube due to poor management foresight. 805 processor in the next gen is too little, too late.

  • John Grabb

    HTC, Blackberry and Windows make good phones. I will always believe blackberry’s OS is a better than android’s. Such a shame

  • gommer strike

    Wanna know why the Iron Man stuff didn’t excite anyone? Because there was nothing at all in the commercial, that showed anyone why Iron Man would use the HTC One. We only saw Robert Downey Jr walk into a boardroom handcuffed to his briefcase, and see him look pensive, but that’s it.

    They casted Iron Man, but with no Iron Man. If you’re gonna do something like that, go for gold, don’t just stop short of greatness. They couldn’t get him to hold the HTC One, and *use* it? And he didn’t even speak a single word during the entire commercial. No Robert Downey Jr charm, no funny moments, NOTHING.