HTC circling the drain: sales down 35% in 2015

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 8, 2016


It’s no secret that HTC has been in trouble for a while now. Despite producing some really great phones in the past like the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8, the company has never really seen the sales figures that should accompany such impressive phones. So it’s no surprise that on the back of the failed HTC One M9 that the company’s finances are looking disturbingly grim.

htc-one-m9See also: HTC One M9 Review116

HTC’s sales were down by more than a third in the calendar year 2015, with the company’s year-on-year figures for December down by more than 50%. In fact, the entire last quarter was down around 50% from 2014. As bad as that sounds, December 2015 wasn’t even the worst month for HTC’s free-falling revenue, with a sales decline of over 60% in June 2015 compared to the same time in 2014.

HTC revenue 2015

The only reason the company’s year-end total isn’t worse was due to a relatively decent start to 2015, where the sales drop was closer to 25% for the first quarter. Following the disastrous arrival of the HTC One M9 with its all-too-familiar appearance and problematic Snapdragon 810 SoC, things took a turn for the worse, with the company’s revenue hovering around a 50% sales decline for the rest of the year.

htc one a9 first impressions aa (11 of 45)

Even though the HTC One A9 has been received a little more positively than its blatant iPhone clone appearance might have lead you to believe, it’s unlikely the company will be able to turn things around significantly until the HTC One M10 and HTC Vive hit shelves in March and April. By that time the YoY sales decline will have been sitting between 40-60% for an entire year.

Just how much longer can HTC hold on? If the One M10, UA Health Box and HTC Vive are great and sell well, things might change for the better in 2016. But any slip-ups on those products and things are only going to get worse.

When you consider a 25% slump in sales as “the good old days” compared to a more common 50% decline, you know the forecast is not looking good.

What do you think HTC should do to turn things around?

  • Пешо Пешев

    HTC are dead- who gives a fuck about them?

    • Samplethief

      Lol something tells me you are going to be eating your words at the beginning of March.

      • Degus Jacoby Pradana

        Wow diehard htc, i thought they were extinct

  • Samplethief

    What should HTC do to turn things around? That’s a hard one but even if they bring out the best phone again, people will still buy the inferior Galaxy S7 thanks to Samsungs marketing power. The Galaxy S4 outsold the One M7 by around four times the amount (which is an absolute travesty). Its going to take something really special from HTC.

    Sleek Design (This is an underrated factor. This next phone needs to go beyond HTC’s already outstanding tradition as the best looking smartphone).
    Perhaps two versions a 5″ and a 5.7″ variant to catch consumers looking for either sizes.
    Nice and thin with almost non-existent bezels.
    Quad HD display.
    Mahoosive battery.
    SD Card slot.
    Ridiculous Power.
    Rear placed fingerprint reader which performs as well as it does on the 6P.
    Obviously, a decent camera for those who care more about photographing life than actually experiencing it.

    Sure this will cost but people will pay.

    • stfu

      Lol inferior. Go back to school and let the adults who make sense do the discussions. Kids these days are no longer supervised by their parents. Tsk tsk.

      • Samplethief

        Samsung shareholder are ya? Re-read what I have written then come and join the adults.

        • jasonlowr

          To be quite honest, I doubt even a godly spec phone will even help them in anyway. G4 was the “perfect” phone with sd removable battery and all but it didn’t sell well at all.

          • Diego

            Lg sucks at marketing.
            If they market the phone better, they have a chance.

          • jasonlowr

            Maybe, maybe not, they did good with their v10, so that might proved that the market wants something new.

          • Sammy Phillips

            They also suck at software, which was the chink in the G4’s armor.

        • stfu

          Find the inspiration to be original, bud. That’s what pre-school education is for.

    • wcjeep

      The Samsung camera and screen quality are better than HTC. Most/all professional reviews also agree the Samsung camera and screen easily outperform the HTC. The few people I know with HTC One variants have had problems with their phones. The HTC phones I’m familiar with have bad screens, very poor cameras and at times require multiple phone resets to the beginning to fix software (maybe hardware) problems. HTC One variants do not have wireless charging. Some of these problems might be remedied in the settings area? Most people do not jump into the settings. Many phones from all manufacturers do not have updates completed. The phone should just work from the manufacturer. This is what made the Iphone successful. No tinkering with the Iphone. No settings to tweak. Samsung is feeling this now. Too much crapware to adjust or turn off. Phones are now a commodity like a Honda Civic. Turn it on. It should work.

      • Samplethief

        You have misunderstood my point. I merely said, even if HTC make a better phone than Samsung (like they did with the M7 & M8) then they still wont sell as many. The S4 and S5 were clearly weaker products than the M7 & M8 yet sold more units because of marketing power and name/brand.

        • wcjeep

          I understood. The Samsung S5 is better than the M8. Samsung camera and screen are better than HTC. Why buy dead tech? It’s like buying an Oldsmobile knowing the end is near.

          • Samplethief

            No. You misunderstood still. Not sure I should even bother this conversation, your’e clearly a samsung shareholder but….

            Check out some reviews. The S5 was not the same class as the M8. Ill give you the camera but the screen being better is a matter of opinion. Samsung screens are notorious for being over saturated with colour. Look tacky and cheap. Not to mention all the bloat.

          • Samplethief

            You just proved my point. People think the S4 and S5 were better phones…

          • joey

            Because they were. HTC aluminum body turned out to be a negative. Galaxy has better displays which is the part of the phone you interact with the most. Samsung beats HTC in software. The camera on galaxy is better. Expandable storage. Removable battery. Samsung is better by a landslide. HTC prices are also higher.

    • peter

      No, no and no. Doing these things is exactly what killed HTC! You think going nerdy about specs is going to keep a corporation afloat ? Well, newsflash kid, flagships are only a small percentage of phones. What HTC needs, is to follow Apple’s model – not in the sense they have for the past few years though, not with copying their design and hardware.

      If companies won’t understand that fast, reliable and user friendly services are CORE to success these days – they will go down and Apple will reign the market. And monopoly on the market is not a good thing, we need competition.

  • Mikko Karekivi

    Dear HTC 1. please get rid of the ugly black bezels on the screen 2. Make a good camera (especially low light) 3. Use atleast a 5.5″ screen 4. Keep boom sound speakers 5. have atleast 3000mah battery 6. make your phone pop, shiny gold or something like that with clear covers the fingerprint magnets don’t matter. 7. if you want to sell more then make the device waterproof and a screen similarly unbrekable as on the droid turbo 2/ moto x force. I promise it will sell!

  • Roberto Virga

    The most important thing for HTC to do is to revise their pricing policy. HTC sells midrange phones at high-end prices, and low-end phones at midrange prices. There wasn’t a single 2015 HTC phone that I would consider good value, the way the Moto G, and Moto X Style for example are good value.

    • tomstwocents

      Motorola is actually kind of hard to beat when it comes to pricing. Anyway, I agree that the 2015 models were too expensive.

      • Karly Johnston

        Motorola doesn’t exist anymore.

        • Reed

          Yes, it does. It’s just owned by a bigger company now.

  • Mark Hirst

    They need to stop designing their new phones using the M7 design and a piece of tracing paper for a start. Stop with the terrible ultrapixel nonsense and use a decent camera sensor. Keep the Boomsound speakers (still the best sounding phone in my opinion). Maybe they need to look at some of the renders that people came up with for the design of what tuned out to be the A9, some of those looked amazing.

    • neo905

      They ditched the Ultrapixel already last year with the M9. The M8 in 2014 was the last ultrapixel back shooter.

      • Mark Hirst

        I think they still use it for the front facing camera

        • neo905

          That’s why I said back shooter. Who cares about the front shooter other than narcissists.

      • Victor N.

        The M9 camera is actually worst than the M8’s.

        • The M8 camera was moved to the front as a selfie one on the M9 and it’s still great. The rear camera uses a Toshiba sensor, which sadly is not on the same level as Sony ones, but after the updates it’s pretty good. A big plus is the fact that you can shoot RAW.

        • neo905

          No it isn’t. I have both the M8 and the M9 that I use. The M9 camera sucked when I bought it in April. The stabilization on the video wasn’t even enabled yet in the software for heavens sake. Around October after several firmware updates the camera is decent. In bad lighting it still isn’t great but other than that it is a capable shooter. The M8 camera sucks. It doesn’t have the detail in the picture that the M9 has because of the MP count and it doesn’t take pictures indoors very well under incandescent lighting. Everything has this yellow hue to it which is annoying and is a hardware problem.

    • Tom Bennett

      totally agree with you mark, they kicked the arse out of the original m7 design. to be a player again they need to have a complete rethink and again ask the consumer what they are looking for in their smartphones

  • yantop

    The Ultrapixel is what killed them as it was just too low, if they had an 8mp ultrapixel they could have gotten away with it. Now they need to focus on some things that people have always wanted, and that they can market upon.

    Long battery life (just go crazy with this one keeping current design, sizes)
    Hifi audio, include a high performance DAC and amplifier to go with the thousands of headphones being sold now (you can market the hell out of this one)
    Good fingerprint sensor
    Good Camera
    Offer a promotion for a free case to go with it
    and discounts on accessories to try and pull people away from brands that they may already have a big investment of accessories with.

  • McHale72

    I call dibs on the executive desks. This company can’t disappear fast enough. They stopped being innovative and providing decent support shortly after they stopped being an OEM and decided to become a “player” in the market. My biggest regrets in the field of technology is purchasing HTC devices.

  • charlesarthur

    “The only reason the company’s year-end total isn’t worse was due to a relatively decent start to 2015, where the sales drop was closer to 25% for the first quarter.”

    No, sales rose year-on-year in the first quarter by about 25%, as the stats posted from HTC’s investor page above show clearly. After that, things got ugly.

  • Bogdan-Stefanita Mitu

    Go bankrupt..

  • Victor N.

    HTC should read some of these comment sections and start taking into account what people want.

  • They need two flagships available on every market. Flagships with flagship specs that respond to the demands of both phones and phablets.

    1. M10: 5-5.2″ with 2k display, stereo sound, very good main camera (Sony sensor, not Toshiba one as in the M9), 4 gb ram, 32 or 64 gb internal storage + micro sdxc, 3200-3400 mAh battery

    2.E10: 5.7-6″ with same specs as the M10 but with 64 or 128 internal storage + micro sdxc, 3600-4000 mAh battery.

    Premium metal/glass finish on both and top Qualcomm or even Mediatek chip inside.

    They also need mid rangers with mid specs and plastic finish (still good one) using mid range chips. Both a 5” phone and a 5.5″ phablet with FHD.

    Entry level phones…nah. Leave those for Chinese makers (Alcatel included here).

    • Impaler

      Alcatel is not just for tcl but as dialing out of China?
      Here in Chile a local company(entel) sells “Own”phones wich are identical to alcatel ones(also sold here in Chile)
      Pd: google translator srry I can read English perfectly but I have trouble writing

  • Sammy Phillips

    A few tips for HTC (in no specific order):

    1) They need to stop pretending like they’re so much better than everyone else. Their marketing ignores the hard numbers and basically says “people just don’t understand.” They still think they’re king of the smartphone world.

    2) They need to stop releasing a better phone in Q3 or Q4 than they did in Q1 or Q2. Whether it’s Stateside or abroad, HTC’s US flagship has gotten egg on its face too many times in recent years (One X–>One X+, One M7–>One Max, One M9–>One A9, etc.)

    3) They need to continue delivering fast software updates to their unlocked devices.

    4) They need to beat out Samsung and Apple on flagship pricing while still putting out a phone that people want to buy. Fast processor, plenty of ram, incredible camera, fast fingerprint sensor, sd card…$500.

  • tomstwocents

    No more giant bezels. That’s one reason why the M7 design is outdated.

  • Bob

    Pricing. They always fuck up with the pricing.

    • SimonC

      pricing is way off and advertising is poor

  • Rami Abdelmajid

    HTC hire me, I can help! Lol

    Easy way to fix HTC:

    *Ditch UltraPixel use a camera with one of the latest Sony sensors.
    *Rear Capacitive Fingerprint Scanner
    *Have a 5.2″ variant and 5.9″ variant both with Super AMOLED Panels
    *Slimmed bezels with dual front facing speakers
    *3 or 4gb RAM
    *Snapdragon 820 or Nvidia Tegra X1 Processor
    *3000maH battery or better.
    *no black HTC bar at the bottom of the screen.

    I’d buy it right away if they made it with those specs

    • SimonC

      no need to hire you, you just told them how to build ‘your’ perfect phone

      • Rami Abdelmajid

        Really? Because 90% of that is stuff that’s been widely requested in various comments sections and media over the years.

    • peter

      Sony has most of these things. So does Samsung.

      What HTC needs to do is provide high quality user experience and services – not nerdy specs. Doing things you listed, without focusing on what I mentioned, is exactly what killed HTC and made Apple go to the top. I know we, geeky smartphone fanboys usually think the world revolves around us and flagship but the truth is – it does not.

      • Rami Abdelmajid

        That’s true, sense ui was nice but it definitely has more room for improvement


    Give up on the back camera and use a Sony sensor, go back to the roots and switch the style up. I want to see a non-M line that’s plastic and doesn’t have the HTC black bar

  • Rui Gomes

    For the money they are asking for the A9 I have no ideia how they can expect sales go up. No front speakers, Snapdragon 615 for 500 euro, are they crazy? And M9 with all is “bad” S810 history has his price still at 600 euro!!
    They want to sell they should reduce the prices for acceptable values, it is really overpriced. Just bad management.

  • Jitender

    The most important thing for HTC to do is to revise their pricing policy. HTC sells midrange phones at high-end prices, and low-end phones at midrange prices. There wasn’t a single 2015 HTC phone that I would consider good value, the way the Moto G, and Moto X Style for example are good value.

  • SamsaraGuru

    Several years back the President of HTC derided Samsung for its plastic phones that he deemed unfashionable and not as fetching as HTC’S.

    Apparently he never heard of nor read the line that nothing is more fickle and capricious than “fashion”; because what is in one day the next is out.

  • Probablynot

    I’ve purchased the last 2 One’s (M8 and M9), and a One X+ or whatever it was a few years ago. A month or so ago, some genius at HTC decided they didn’t want to continue supporting Blinkfeed and offloaded newsfeed pulling to some shite third party. Blinkfeed was the only thing differentiating HTC. Just sold the M9 and picked up an LG V10 and couldn’t be happier, just use Flipboard as a subpar Blinkfeed replacement. Good luck HTC!

  • sonybru

    Use amoled, and I’ll jump from Samsung