Taipei, May 7 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. saw its sales more than halved from a month earlier in April to a record low since the company listed its shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) in 2002.
In a posting to the TWSE, HTC said its consolidated sales plunged 50.79 percent from a month earlier to NT $ 209 million (US $ 7.05 million), the lowest level since the company was listed on March 26, 2002.
The April sales also fell 44.92 percent from a year earlier, according to the smartphone vendor.
Market analysts said the fall in HTC revenue largely reflected a product transition period, in which the company lacked new gadgets to boost consumers’ interest, while slow season effects in the tech industry were also cited as a factor behind the sales decline.
In the first four months of this year, HTC’s consolidated sales dropped 15.54 percent from a year earlier to NT $ 1.31 billion with analysts attributing the decline to weakening global smartphone demand and escalating market competition.
In the first quarter, HTC incurred a net loss of NT $ 760 million, compared to a net loss of NT $ 730 million in the fourth quarter of last year, marking the 16th consecutive quarter of losses.
However, its first quarter gross margin – the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold – rose from 33.7 percent in the fourth quarter to 37.8 percent and analysts said the improvement came after a better product portfolio.
To assuage the impact from the weakness of its smartphone operations and diversify its product mix, HTC has intensified efforts to become a player in the virtual reality market with a series of VR headsets. However, analysts said the VR operations still made up a small fraction of HTC’s sales.
HTC unveiled the first VR headset – the HTC Vive – in 2015 and introduced more models in the following years.
In 2021, HTC took the title as the largest augmented reality (AR) and VR headset supplier in the Asia Pacific region by grasping a 5.9 percent share, up from 5.6 percent a year earlier, according to International Data Corp.
In addition, HTC has also been keen to explore business opportunities in market enthusiasm over the “metaverse” concept, which refers to a digital world where people can move between devices and communicate in a virtual environment.
HTC has launched “BEATDAY,” which the company said is the world’s first holographic music metaverse platform, offering diverse immersive content on various gadgets, such as PCs, smartphones, tablets, VR devices.
The company said it will continue to hold concerts in the BEATDAY platform and apply emerging technologies such as augmented reality (XR), Blockchain and AI to offer comprehensive content to enrich its metaverse services.