HTC Posts Lowest Quarterly Profit Since 2006

Today, HTC Corp., once the hot smarpthone firm, reported its lowest quarterly profit since 2006 as it continues to lose market share to competitors Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics.

HTC reported that its third-quarter net profit came to 3.9 billion New Taiwan dollars ($133 million). That was a sharp 79% decline from NT$18.64 billion in the same period of last year. Analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal expected a net profit of NT$5.0 billion. Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 totaled NT$70.2 billion, a 48% drop year-over-year.

As recently as 2010 HTC was the largest smartphone maker using Google's Android operating system. But Samsung overtook HTC in 2011 to become the biggest vendor of Android devices in the United States.

HTC did not disclose its geographical revenue breakdown, but analysts believe the U.S. may have accounted for about half of the company's revenue and about 40% of its total smart phone shipments last year. The company has been turning to Asia and other emerging markets for growth, but competition is also intensifying in those markets.

Last month, HTC unveiled a pair of new smartphones that use Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. However, the popularity of the Windows 8 phones remains uncertain, and analysts say the new Windows phones are not likely to help HTC regain its momentum.

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