Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has unveiled its last quarter profits for 2012 and it makes for glum reading. The firm saw a 91 per cent fall in profits, and to rub even more salt into the wounds it’s been revealed the firm received an unlikely endorsement after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was apparently seen using one of its devices.
The company spent the whole of 2012 fighting tooth-and-nail with Apple in the both courts and on the high street. And while the company did try and streamline its operations it saw a 91 per cent fall in net profits in Q4 from a year ago to NT$600m (£12.9m), with revenues down 40 per cent to NT$60bn (£1.3bn).
The firm also predicted revenue for the first quarter 2013 could be as low as NT$50bn (£1.1bn) – a slide of 17 per cent from Q4 2012.
In other HTC news it seems that the Taiwanese handset maker has got a less than welcome endorsement from North Korea’s new leader Kin Jong Un.
The picture, obtained by the Korean Centra News Agency, shows the new leader speaking to his advisors, with a shiny HTC Desire at his side.
It actually a shrewd move the North Korean leader, as it wouldn’t be palettable to have a phone from Apple or a Samsung, which is made in South Korea, who they’re still technically at war with.
North Korea’s 3G network, Koryonet, was launched in 2008 with the help of Egyptian operator Orascom. Although reports suggest many locals do have devices, internet access and international calls are prohibited and widespread monitoring of calls and texts is.
For HTC, it’s probably not the kind of publicity it was hoping for as the firm aims to turn its fortunes around in 2013.
Ironically the smartphone maker left Korea last year in a bid to “streamline operations”.
The firm has grown its business significantly in China – shipments there jumped nearly 400 per cent in Q2 2012, for example. HTC has also said it will offer sub-1999 yuan (£203) devices in a bid to tap the huge appetite for smartphones at the lower end in China as well as renewing a focus on emerging markets.
M7 To The Rescue
HTC is expected to unveil a new flagship smartphone, the M7 at an event on February 19. It’s hoping it can turn around last year’s dismal performance with a new full-fat smartphone which will ditch megapixels for something the company dubs as “ultra pixels”.
It was thought that the M7 would come with an impressive 13-megapixel rear snapper. However, it not being reported that the smartphone will feature a camera made up of three 4.3 megapixel sensor layers, which once combined should produce stills and videos that are substantially crisper, cleaner and have better colour accuracy.
The technology is very similar to the 41-megapixel camera on Nokia’s PureView, which the Finnish handset maker is thought to be bringing to its Lumia range of handsets soon.
HTC has also been talking up a new sound and camera experience on it’s handsets in 2013, Now we know about the camera, but what about sound? Well, 2012 HTC’s came with Beats audio – so expect something similar to that on the M7.
But from the earlier rumours, what we do know is that HTC M7 will have a 4.7-inch 1080p full-HD screen, 1.7GHz quad-core processor. It is expected to run on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) along with a layer of Sense 5.0 UI.
The phone is expected to go on sale in early March.