By Megan Fleet
Taiwan’s top smartphone manufacturer, HTC, cannot seem to catch a break when pitted against Apple’s iPhone 4S. The many patent cases that have flown between the two companies have mainly had judgments in Apple’s favor. Based on recent revenue reports, the trend seems to be continuing.
On Monday, earnings for the fourth quarter of last year were released and projections for the first quarter of this year that fall shy of industry expectations. When following the numbers, HTC has seemingly been stuck in second gear since Apple released the iPhone 4S.
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To put it in hard numbers, HTC reported consolidated revenue of NT$101.42 billion (US$3.43 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2011, a drop of 25.33 percent from the previous quarter.
HTC also said its revenue may drop 31 to 36 percent sequentially to between NT$65 billion and NT$70 billion in the first quarter of 2012, as it is still undergoing a product cycle transition.
The news doesn’t look much brighter to kick of 2012. The expectation was that HTC would net $85 billion this quarter. Instead, the money looks closer to $64 billion.
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So is the manufacturer going the way of Research In Motion (albeit without the bad-boy executive behavior and panache)? Well, that remains to be seen. New products are bound to be released in 2012 that could turn things around, but what how will those smartphones and tablets compare to the Apple competition. Their availability of 4G LTE and unlocked handset options could boost interest and sales as well.