Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S3 makes HTC investors uneasy

April 18, 2012
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Even though the Samsung Galaxy S3 is still weeks away from being put up for sale, its imminent unveiling is already causing serious headaches to Sammy’s competitors. HTC shares dropped over 6% on Tuesday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, and this sudden fall is interpreted by financial analysts as being caused by two factors.

First of all, the future Samsung superphone finally has an unveiling date next to its name, and pretty much everybody in the mobile business is looking at the future Galaxy S3 as the “Android of all Androids”.

However, as flattering that might sound to Samsung executives, HTC’s shares drop was also caused by an internal “event”, the replacing of the company’s CFO. Winston Yung, HTC’s former chief financial officer, has been replaced after less than a year and a half since his appointment, with Chia-Lin Chang taking his place. Chang, a former partner with Goldman Sachs in Taiwan and an ex-Motorola engineer, takes on a key position at HTC, at a time when the electronic giant seems to have entered a slippery slope of financial decline.

After 18 extraordinarily successful months, when HTC’s sales shares tripled and sales quadrupled, the tech firm started (last April, if I’m not mistaken) to lose momentum in the ultra competitive mobile market and saw its sales and revenues drop significantly.

The latest earnings report recorded a 70% year on year drop in profits for Q1 2012 and a 35% year on year decline in revenues for HTC, which seems to have been enough to convince the firm’s brass that they need to drive the company towards some sort of change.

The first step towards change has been the rethinking of the whole marketing strategy and the narrowing of the number of devices launched by HTC on a yearly basis. The One X has been chosen as the “hero” device to turn the tables for HTC and things look pretty promising on that front, with the smartphone being hailed by reviewers, as well as regular technology enthusiasts all over the world.

The CFO change should have been the second step towards progress, but the company’s shares drop seems to be painting a whole different picture. On the other hand, a key change in a company’s leadership usually translates into poor stock results on the short term, with the possibility of a recovery on the long haul, if the new boss proves to be the right person for the job.

As for the Galaxy S3 unveiling , it’s still unclear if it has, in fact, caused (at least partially) the shares drop, but several financial experts think it did. The May 3 event should be pretty worrying for the Taiwanese giant, but, then again, we should wait and see how the One X will sell and then draw conclusions on the company’s current and future financial welfare.

So, what do you guys think? Will the Galaxy S3’s launch squash any hope for HTC to get back in the race in the Android smartphone world or will the One X actually turn the tables for the Taiwanese? Let us know in the comments section below!

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