HTC’s Rough Q1: Profits Down 70% Over Last Year, Revenue Dips 35%

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HTC released their unaudited Q1 2012 earnings earlier this morning, and the results aren’t pretty [PDF]. The Taiwanese company managed to pull down NT$67.8 billion ($2.3 billion) this past quarter, a nearly 35% dip year-over-year.

What’s more, HTC took an even bigger hit when it came to net income after taxes — in Q1, they only raked in NT$4.4 billion ($149 million), compared to the NT$14.8 billion ($501 million) in profits earned this time last year.

Ouch. Just… ouch.

HTC has tried to set the bar nice and low with their revenue and sales guidance for the quarter, but now we’re getting a look at how rough this past quarter has really been. Back in February, HTC Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung pegged the company’s sluggish quarter on increased competition from rivals like Samsung and Apple (a reason they seem to like trotting out often), but he was quick to note that HTC was just as much at fault.

“We simply dropped the ball on products in the fourth quarter,” Yung said in a February conference call. He also noted that the company’s LTE devices in particular — think the Rezound and the Vivid — didn’t live up to company expectations.

The numbers don’t look very promising, but the company hasn’t exactly been sitting on their laurels this whole time. Not long after the company revealed that they would be refocusing their efforts around a smaller number of “hero” devices in 2012, they officially pulled back the curtains on their impressive new One series devices.

After having played with the devices (along with their new American cousin), I get the impression that HTC may not be stuck in this current hole for too much longer. There’s no question that HTC has spent a good chunk of 2011 spinning their wheels when it came to innovative design and functionality (did they really need to make 4 variants of the Sensation?), but the One series seems like a breath of fresh air in comparison to the reiterative devices they churned out for a while.

Still, while HTC is getting their hardware affairs in order, that competition from Apple and Samsung isn’t going anywhere. With a new iPhone and the Galaxy S III waiting in the wings for their respective debuts later this year, HTC may still have some rough seas ahead of them. At least this time though, they’ll have some hardware that could actually put up a fight.