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HTC: Can it survive much longer?

HTC: Can it survive much longer?

It seems every that every three months, the death knell is sounded for HTC.

And yet the mobile-maker staggers on, supported by its past reputation and the indisputable fact it has made 2013’s best smartphone to date.

This time it isn’t a new set of grim quarterly figures that have caused alarm bells to ring.

Rather it’s that the last quarter’s numbers have been audited, alongside a stark warning for the next three months.

HTC has seen an 83% slip in year-on-year profits, while it says it could make a loss of anything between 0% and -8% from June to September.

Let’s step back and consider that for a second. Three years ago, HTC could do no wrong.

It was dominating the Android space and taking the fight to Apple.

This year has seen the HTC One lauded for having the best design and best camera (until the release of the Nokia Lumia 1020) of any smartphone out there.

Peter Chou HTC at keynote

We know that it has struggled with fragmentation, getting into scrapes with consumers when updates fail to appear in good time or not at all (see the recent HTC One S debacle.

HTC Sense has held it back, too, hence the release of a so-called ‘Google Edition’ of the HTC One, which stripped away the custom user interface’s customisations.

The question now is can HTC survive in its present form?

LG and Sony have come back from smartphone losses, but then these are firms that stretch way beyond the mobile space and have the financial cushion of other business areas to soften the blow. HTC has phones and that’s it.

Its position as Taiwan’s premier brand means it’s unlikely that the likes of China’s ZTE and Huawei will be able to swoop and mount a bid for their rival.

But analysts continue to warn that it’s a takeover target if the losses aren’t stemmed and sales don’t increase.

HTC can say the One has done better than all of its top 2012 phones combined.

htc one google

That still doesn’t change the fact it only just squeaks into the top 30 Android phones being used right now.

Clearly, HTC has heaps going for it. It makes fantastic products, but lacks the financial clout to be able to market them meaningfully. But if no one comes along and takes charge, then what will happen to HTC?

If it keeps on losing money, then the game is up. It can’t rely on endless past glories like Nokia has done to help it get through lean times.

Another couple of major losses and you can bet that the days of HTC troubling the smartphone charts will be over for good.

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