2015 was a year to forget for HTC. The company struggled with a disastrous flagship, leadership changes, and hundreds of millions in losses. Released today, HTC’s Q4 2015 report does little to change the gloomy atmosphere.
HTC recorded net losses of $101 million (NT$3.4 billion) in the last quarter of 2015. A shimmer of silver lining is the revenue, which jumped 20% compared to Q3, but is still a massive 46% down compared to Q4 2014. The One A9 can be credited with this slight revival, but it’s obvious that the mid-range iPhone lookalike wasn’t enough to steer the HTC ship out of troubled waters.
While revenues increased from Q3 to Q4, HTC’s gross profit actually decreased, suggesting that HTC managed to sell more devices, but at a smaller profit margin. Operating expenses declined quarter to quarter, but still amounted to NT$7.7 billion.
HTC said it had “good momentum” with its Desire line, while the One A9 was supposedly “well received” across the world.
That said, CFO Chialin Chang suggested that any improvements in the company’s bottom line would only come in Q2 2016. In other words, expect another terrible report for Q1 2015 and don’t expect the One M10 to be available in March. We’ve previously heard that HTC is going to introduce its new flagship at a press event sometime after MWC, but the weak prediction for Q1 is confirmation that the M10 will only be released (at least in meaningful numbers) from April.
HTC once again touted its “innovation leadership” in virtual reality and the Internet of Things, and said it ramped up marketing expenditures for the Vive VR headset and UA Healthbox, the fitness kit it co-developed with Under Armour. Vive, in particular, could be a promising new line of business for the embattled Taiwanese company, but the potential of virtual reality as the next big consumer electronics product category is unclear.