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HTC Q4 profit lowest in four years, blames marketing (again)


The Q4 results are in for smartphone and tablet manufacturer HTC, and it’s looking far from pretty. At a bottom line of $34 million in profit for Q4 of 2012, HTC has finished up 2012 with a four-year low in profit, down 91 percent from a year ago, and down even more from the year before. While they were once kings of the smartphone realm in late 2010, HTC has become obscure in the market in recent months, and their sales have continued to reflect this. Now, as competition from Samsung, LG, and Nokia ramps up, the company’s dragging its feet in the mud and failing to give itself the push it needs to stay competitive.

Around late 2010 HTC began to rebrand itself into a “Quietly Brilliant” campaign of minimalist marketing, essentially to let their smartphones speak for themselves. While one would think the company would have taken a hint in 2011 when their profits crashed 25 percent, the company stood the course and through 2012 continued to drop into its present state. HTC is, however, quick to point the finger as to why exactly 2011 and 2012 were so bad for them, saying it was a failure in marketing. While this isn’t the first time HTC has made this excuse, CEO Peter Chou has already made a New Year’s promise to bring HTC back to prominence in 2013 with stronger marketing campaigns, and a dedication to the very principals that once made them such a strong company. Under the hood though, HTC is certainly fuming.  

For now, HTC has to make some serious shifts in marketing, development, or whatever else is left in their bag of tricks that could get them out of the hole. Their stock chart above speaks for itself, and while it doesn’t reflect the sharp drop in profit for the last few years, it helps give perspective just how far the company has fallen.

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