Taiwan’s HTC Corp., arguably Samsung’s top competitor in the Android device market, says its second quarter earnings plunged 58% from the year-ago quarter. HTC earned $247 million on revenue of roughly $3.0 billion. Revenue was down 27% from the year-ago quarter.
HTC’s products have consistently ranked in the top five in surveys of U.S. consumer handset choices. For the three months ended in May, HTC had 6.1% of the U.S. handset market, according to ComScore. HTC has been focusing on smart devices with high-end products like the Evo, and more recently the HTC One X. “They went out of the gate and had a lot of success in the market and a lot of carriers really welcomed them as another supplier,” says William Stofega, who follows mobile device and technology trends for IDC. “But the momentum didn’t carry through. It almost seemed to me that they become almost overwhelmed by their success.” Stofega expects to see a turnaround at HTC, but for now he suspects that the design and production cycles associated with the spike in demand are hard for the company to manage.
HTC’s biggest problem is Samsung, now the world’s leading vendor of mobile phones. Samsung said today that its second quarter profits will be up roughly 77% from the year-ago quarter.
Both 005930:KS” target=”_blank”>Samsung and HTC may end up removing some of their products from the U.S. market because of patent infringement lawsuits filed by Apple (AAPL). Shipments of the HTC Evo 4G LTE and the One X were delayed by U.S. customs officials earlier this year.
Meanwhile Amazon (AMZN) is reportedly ready to navigate the stormy smartphone seas with its own product offering later this year. A Bloomberg report says Amazon is developing a smartphone, and working to acquire wireless patents that would help it defend its product against patent lawsuits.
Amazon recently hired Matt Gordon to oversee its patent acquisitions. Gordon is the former head of patent acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management and has served as director of IP licensing at Microsoft (MSFT).
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