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HTC getting crushed in smartphone battle as profits slide 90 percent

07 Jan 2013
The HTC One SV comes with 4G LTE connectivity

HTC has seen its quarterly profits slump by 91 percent year-on-year, as it continues to get crushed between the battling giants of Samsung and Apple.

According to figures from HTC, profits for the three months to the end of December 2012 were £21.4m, compared to £236m in the year-ago quarter. Sales for Q4 2012 were £1.28bn.

HTC made its name on the back of the popularity of Android handsets, but the latest figures show it has been unable to maintain that momentum, even as the popularity of Google's smartphone operating system accelerates.

According to analyst firm IDC, 136 million Android smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012, accounting for 75 percent of the market.

More troublingly for HTC, its flagship handset the HTC One X won favourable comparisons with Samsung's Galaxy S3, but this has not translated into sales.

Samsung sold 20 million Galaxy S3 handsets inside its first 100 days on the market. HTC has not broken out sales of its One X, but according to IDC, HTC shipped just 7.3 million handsets during the third quarter of 2012.

The introduction of new Android models as well as the debut of its Windows Phone 8 handsets appears to have done little to increase sales, judging by its latest results.

Last year, HTC also signed a controversial global peace deal with Apple, bringing an end to the worldwide patent disputes between the two firms.

The two firms have sought to keep the details of their pact under wraps, but they may be forced to reveal some parts, under pressure from rival Samsung.

Whatever details emerge, HTC's latest financial results show it can ill afford the distraction of a bitter legal battle, as it bids to revitalise its flagging fortunes.

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