HTC eyeing 'flagship' phones in '12 to revive growth

Amid weakening revenue and a lower market share, the Taiwanese mobile phone maker is looking to launch new smartphones next year that it promises will be more competitive.

HTC plans to launch new and more competitive smartphones next year.
HTC plans to launch new and more competitive smartphones next year. HTC

Hit by tough competition, HTC is aiming to unveil several "flagship" smartphones next year as it tries to recapture lost market share.

Falling more than 30 percent over the past eight sessions, the company's stock has become the worst among all global smartphone shares, according to Reuters.

Though earnings and revenue for the third quarter showed a healthy boost from a year ago, HTC last week slashed its forecast for the current quarter, warning that sales would fail to grow at all.

The company has been facing intense competition from Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy smartphones.

Both Apple and Samsung have been duking it out for the top spot in the global smartphone arena, with Samsung recently outshining its rival in shipments and market share. The battle for the top has left other manufacturers, such as HTC, struggling to scoop up the rest of the market.

But the company is putting on a public face of optimism.

"I don't think it's so serious," Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung told Reuters. "We have six quarters of improvement, the most conservative guidance is 45 million units of shipments this year, a lot higher than 25 million last year."

Still, HTC is counting on its new smartphones to put a dent in the competition.

"We will focus on the product next year, better and more competitive," Yung said. "Other than new LTE phones for the U.S. market, we also have phones for the global market. We will launch some worldwide flagship products. We're confident in them."

Beyond its challenges in the market place, HTC has been fighting some legal battles in the courtroom.

Apple kicked things off early last year by suing HTC and filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging violations against 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone. Since then the two have kept each other busy launching additional lawsuits .

HTC suffered a setback in one case last week when the ITC found that Apple was not violating patents held by graphic chipmaker S3 Graphics . S3 had filed its own complaint against Apple last year, claiming patent infringement. HTC had been planning to buy S3 and its patent portfolio to serve as further legal ammunition in its fight against Apple, but the ruling now puts a question mark on that deal.

In addition, HTC is looking at potential trouble abroad. Patent licensing company IPCom said last week that it would start enforcing a 3-year-old ban against HTC smartphones in Germany over an issue of patent infringement.

 

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