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HTC posts largest ever quarterly loss, lack of high-end sales

HTC reported its worst quarter in the company’s history, with £162 million operating loss and only £650 million in revenue. HTC CFO Chialin Chang said customers were choosing more fashionable smartphones, alongside a loss of market share in critical regions.

It is not that big of a surprise. The HTC One has not changed much in two years, with the One M9 receiving a minor upgrade in a stacked 2015 smartphone market. This lack of foresight and innovation wasn’t ever going to grab millions of customers.

On top of lacklustre high-end sales, HTC is also pushing out more models than ever before. It launched several Desire models, which hold 20 per cent of the $250 - $400 Indian market, but have not made the same inroads in other countries.

HTC has classier smartphones in the pipeline, alongside new devices with more high-end features. The company is also banking on new markets like virtual reality and wearables. The former it is working with Valve on, through Vive and Steam VR.

This could be the breakaway HTC needs, considering the company has a heavy focus on mobile device sales. Working with Valve as the sole provider of VR headsets could be a lucrative opportunity, and build HTC’s reputation on the platform.

HTC is not the only mobile provider feeling the woes of 2015. Samsung recently announced lacklustre sales for the Galaxy S6; LG’s financial report lacked the surge in sales we expected and Sony continues to falter. The only Android providers that seem to be doing well are in China, with Xiaomi and Huawei taking first and second spot in the country.

Apple is also having trouble with shareholders, due to lower than expected iPhone and Apple Watch sales. Share price has dropped 10 per cent since February, and analysts are predicting less sales throughout 2015.

The smartphone market on a whole seems broken, with the big names not being able to push out relevant smartphones to the masses. There is also the slowdown in the mobile economy, with countries like the US and UK already buying more than one phone per person every two years.

To get out of this rut, companies are looking at India and South-East Asia, where the mobile growth is still surging. HTC has a strong presence in the country, stronger than Apple, but needs to hang onto it when the big players start investing.