updated 09:35 am EST, Wed January 2, 2008
HTC Sales Growth Low
Cellphone maker HTC's growth was well below analyst expectations, says a new report from Reuters. Though the company's year-over-year sales expanded by 20 percent in December, the increase was well below a predicted 33 percent -- indicating a cooling effect for the Taiwan firm's rapidly expanding business. The figure represents a steep drop from past months; phone sales climbed 22.3 percent in October but shot upwards to 32.7 percent year-over-year in November, according to official results.
Chief financial officer Cheng Hui-ming has not explained the shortfall but says that the blow is dampened by a tendency for sales to dip in the last month of the year. A shortage in 3G chipsets has created problems but has not been serious enough to affect HTC's results, the executive says.
The news mutes some of HTC's recently claimed successes. In November, the company announced that it had sold one million Touch phones since early June and touted the phone's popularity as a sign of the company's stronger future. HTC itself has not published an update for the end of 2007 but has previously said it would ship between 1.5 and 1.8 million of the touchscreen handsets by the start of 2008. HTC has not explained whether it believes the sales rate drop will damage this estimate.
In contrast, Apple's similarly touch-focused iPhone reached the one million mark in early September and neared 1.5 million point by the end of that month despite limiting sales to the US at the time. HTC has sold both in its native Asia as well as Europe and was relatively late to reach US shores, where it appeared late this year as an option for Sprint.