updated 10:40 am EDT, Mon April 6, 2009
HTC Q109 Hurt by Delay
HTC warned on Monday that its finances had been significantly hurt in the first quarter of 2009, which ended in March. The company said its profit dropped 30 percent year-over-year from the equivalent of $210 million in early 2008 to $148 million this year. It also fell short of its expected total revenue and generated about $954 million where it had expected $997 million.
Unusually, the company blamed the shortfall on a "certain new product shipment" that was delayed until sometime this month. The company doesn't name the one or more devices involved or what triggered the delay.
The most likely candidate for the delay is the HTC Magic, which was pushed back to May in Europe and which was at least originally slated to arrive at T-Mobile USA this month. Both versions hinge on Google releasing its major Cupcake update, which adds a virtual keyboard needed to use the phone.
HTC's slump comes in spite of strong performance at the end of last year and the wider availability of its Touch line. The company as late as February estimated its sales would grow by double-digit percentages in 2009, though this has now been called into question by its latest results. While some direct opponents like Apple and Nokia have yet to report their results, RIM reported its best-ever quarter just last week, indicating that a drop in phone sales may have come at the expense of HTC and others.