Mobile

HTC officially enters desperation mode as sales plunge 44%

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If you weren’t convinced the upcoming HTC One is HTC’s last hope, the company’s latest sales numbers should remove all doubt.

HTC said today that its February sales fell 44 percent from a year ago to $384 million, the lowest point for the company since January 2010. Essentially, as the chart below shows, HTC’s sales are back to the point they were before HTC adopted Android. And that’s pretty scary.

But 2012 was a particularly bad year for HTC. Between the OnLive debacle, Apple patent spat, and One X customs delays, there’s little chance that 2013 could be any worse than last year was for HTC.

htc-sales-decline

Above: HTC’s fall from Android grace (Via Benedict Evans)

… that is, assuming devices like the recently announced HTC One actually sell. HTC has the sad, uncanny ability to make really nice phones that no one actually buys. Blame its lack of marketing or the overwhelming presence of Samsung — either way the result is the same: HTC needs (in the most existential sense of the word) its phones to do well this year.

But here’s what will probably screw things up: The Galaxy S IV, which Samsung plans to unveil on March 14. The last thing HTC needs is for Samsung’s marketing to overshadow the One’s launch — which, with HTC’s luck, is exactly what’s going to happen.

Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat