HTC has ruled out the distribution problems that blighted its One launch last year ahead of revealing its new flagship as it looks for a year of increased revenue and profitability.
Last March the launch of the HTC One was marred by delays, while the manufacturer had a 2013 to forget with plunging profits and key executive departures. Talking at the presentation of HTC’s Q4 results, CFO Chialin Chang said he expected much better results over the next 12 months.
He said: ‘We had year-over-year growth on our flagship product in 2013, and we want to tap into the incremental growth as we go into 2014. More importantly our flagship readiness is a lot better compared to last year. We are a lot more comfortable and confident in terms of overall delivery time.’
A new flagship is expected to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress later this month, although Chang said he ‘wouldn’t be able to give specific timing’. He added that HTC’s overall portfolio is shaping up to be stronger in an increasingly competitive market. Its Q4 results revealed a small profit after the smartphone maker sold its stake in Beats Electronics, but the last year saw a general fall in revenue. Chang added that 2014 should be more positive.
He said: ‘This Q1 will be the lowest quarter that we’ll see. We’ll see a sequential increase in the coming quarters. We believe that in 2014 we will see both the revenue and profitability grow.
‘I believe we have a lot more robust portfolio outside the flagship. Our mid-end and affordable handsets will be stronger than the same time last year. Operators and channel partners are all very excited about the products we’re lining up. In fact we’re already communicating what we intend to do in the whole of 2014. All we need to do is deliver.’
Chang confirmed that HTC still had a good relationship with Microsoft despite its relatively low Windows market share and the OS maker’s acquisition of Nokia. He also said that its patent and technology collaboration agreement with the Finnish manufacture was not a licensing agreement and would ‘not have material impact’. The CFO was also positive about HTC’s upcoming marketing campaign. Chang added: ‘We believe we will have an exciting marketing campaign. We’ll be able to communicate better with the consumer and run a better campaign than last year.’