Sprint's iPhone Sales Likely to Undermine HTC's Share in U.S.

Oct 27, 2011 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Steve Chuang, CENS
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Taipei, Oct. 27, 2011 (CENS)--With Sprint having started offering iPhone 4S and to include iPhone 5 in its portfolio, the company's increasing iPhone sales will likely crowd out HTC Corp. to reduce the Taiwanese smartphone supplier's market share in the U.S. in the near future, says William Power, a market analyst of Robert W. Baird & Co.

Despite succeeding to tap the 4G market in cooperation with HTC through the hot-sellers as HTC EVO 4G and ThunderBolt, Sprint, responding to hot sales of iPhone, has also begun retailing iPhone 4S recently, which will likely undermine HTC's smartphone sales.

Worse for HTC is that Sprint has also gradually shifted to LTE (long term evolution) from WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) in 4G network operations, and will reportedly shut down WiMAX services by 2012, which will impact HTC's deployments in WiMAX-enabled phones in the U.S., says the analyst, considering that Sprint has been HTC's strong sales arm of such phones over the past year.

Therefore, Bower opines that HTC will have to deal with increasingly challenging market conditions in the country in the years to come, despite remaining one of the market's major suppliers of end-user devices running on the 4G LTE network; while a flat growth in its combined revenue for September is also a warning sign to HTC, whose around 50% of sales are generated in the U.S.

Despite HTC's current prosperity, Taiwanese institutional investors suggest the maker tread cautiously amid global competitors as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics, saying that Apple, for example, is expected to sell 30 million iPhone 4S worldwide in the fourth quarter alone, which will surely weigh on HTC in the global market.
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