HTC's posts tiny profit as revenue jumps 12 percent

The phone maker says the jump in fourth-quarter revenue underscores the success of its plan to "offer tailored product mixes."

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

HTC is partnering with companies like Under Armour to build wearables and expand its product line. Under Armour

Taiwan-based mobile company HTC was able to grow its revenue during the fourth quarter, but profits were disappointingly slim.

HTC posted revenue of NT$47.9 billion ($1.5 billion) during the fourth quarter, up 12 percent compared to the same period in 2013. HTC's profit was just NT$500 million ($15.9 million). It was, however, the third consecutive profitable quarter.

While HTC remains profitable, the company's sequential profits have fallen off a cliff in the last year. During the second quarter of 2014, the company's profit hit NT$2.3 billion. In the third quarter, sequential profits were again down, falling to NT$600 million.

HTC offers a wide range of smartphones, including its One M8 flagship, which has proven popular among reviewers. Over the last few years, however, HTC has been on the wrong end of an onslaught by Android handset makers. China-based Xiaomi, along with Lenovo, and Huawei, have all made great strides in the smartphone market by appealing to Chinese consumers. LG, another HTC rival, has offered solid devices that have captured the attention of consumers around the world.

Meanwhile, HTC is still far behind the leading Android handset maker Samsung, which continues to control the space. Apple's iPhone line also isn't helping matters.

HTC's issues stand in stark contrast to the company's successes not so many years ago. Back in 2011, for instance, the company was the leading Android handset maker and appeared to be on top of its game. But before long, Samsung products soared and HTC has watched its market share tumble.

Research firm Trendforce reported earlier this month that in 2013 and 2014 HTC didn't even make the top 10 of smartphone vendors worldwide in terms of shipments, finding itself relegated to the "Others" category. Trendforce expects the same for HTC in 2015.

But as HTC looks to the future, the company isn't solely focusing on smartphones. Last month, it announced a partnership with Under Armour to offer fitness-related wearables. That news came after HTC announced late last year that it will diversify its product portfolio and enter into strategic partnerships to broaden its reach.

In a statement Friday, HTC said that its plan to "offer tailored product mixes" has so far worked out well, pointing to its increased revenue. The company made no mention of its slim profit.