HTC may be making some of the best smartphones (including the HTC One X series and Windows Phone 8X devices) but that isn’t stopping it from facing some fiscal trouble, according to a new report. Asian supply chain watcher Digitimes (via BGR) says that HTC is cutting back on new models and Q1 shipments of existing devices as it tightens its purse strings.
Normally, it’s hard to put too much stock in Digitimes-sourced reports given the publication’s spotty track record. But despite its many misses, it has had hits that indicate some of its supply chain sources are well-placed, and this makes sense based on what we’ve heard before about HTC’s current fortunes.
Recently HTC announced it would be dropping the 8S from its U.S. lineup entirely, opting instead to market the down-market Windows Phone 8-powered device only in a few other global markets. Then, a second report suggested HTC was also scrapping plans for a future large-screened Windows Phone 8 handset, ostensibly because it wouldn’t be able to support high-enough screen resolution to make it worthwhile.
Whatever HTC’s reasons for streamlining its product offerings, we’ve seen that it’s already doing that. And the company has a lot riding on the performance of recently released devices. Its quarterly results for the last four reporting periods have each shown net revenue drops, after a big boost in Q3 2011. And the company’s outlook for Q4 2012 predicts further a further revenue fall.
HTC’s One X+ and Droid DNA could put some wind back in its sales in terms of smartphone shipments, but it doesn’t look like it’ll have the same kind of success on its hands provided by the original HTC One X.
In the meantime, the reality is that with successive quarterly results like the ones HTC has been seeing lately, reining in product plans is likely a move the company will have to make if it hasn’t already. It’s a shame, because the devices they are making are category-leading in many cases, but that doesn’t seem to be making much of an impact, especially in the U.S. market.