HTC Sales Dip Again In May, Despite Buzz For Its New M8 Flagship Phone

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HTC has posted details of its monthly revenues for May and the results reverse two months of positive sales it garnered in April and March.

The smartphone maker reports a month-on-month drop of 4.59% in May, and a year-on-year decline of 27.37%. Revenue for the month stands at NT$21,065 million, compared to NT$22,079 million in April.

The May decline is another unwelcome sign for the company which has been battling to turn its fortunes around in recent years in the fiercely competitive Android smartphone space, with a run of declining quarters culminating in its first ever quarterly loss in Q3 2013.

HTC then narrowly avoided another loss the following quarter — owing to a one-off windfall from selling its stake in Beats, before dipping back into the red again in Q1 this year. (Had HTC held on to its Beats’ stake a little longer, of course, it might well have won a much larger windfall.)

At the end of Q1 this year HTC unveiled a new flagship handset, the One M8, which — like the company’s prior flagships — has been well-reviewed. TC’s own Darrell Etherington dubbed it “the best new Android smartphone” in his March 31 review.

So it’s certainly disheartening for HTC to see its revenues slipping back again, despite the calibre of its devices continuing to generate buzz.

HTC did announce a forthcoming mid-range device, the clumsily named HTC One Mini 2, in mid May, which is aimed at expanding its appeal to more mass market buyers, rather than focusing on the relative minority of top tier flagship buyers. Smartphone industry growth is now skewed to mid-tier and budget devices, thanks to rising rates of smartphone adoption in developing countries.

But that more affordable new HTC handset wasn’t due to ship til the end of the month, so any sales of the One Mini 2 won’t be reflected in its monthly revenues yet.

According to Bloomberg journalist Tim Culpan HTC is still maintaining its sales guidance for Q2, despite the May decline. So it’s possible the May dip is just a blip.

We’ll have to wait for HTC’s Q2 financials to see whether its broader portfolio focus is having a positive effect on its bottom line.