TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. said on June 6 that it recorded a monthly sales increase of over 26 percent for May after it started shipments of 5G-related products.
In a statement, HTC said its consolidated sales for May rose 26.7 percent from the previous month to NT$750 million (US$23.89 million) but were 69.2 percent lower than a year earlier, amid escalating competition in the global smartphone market.
In the first five months of the year, HTC posted NT$4.29 billion in consolidated sales, down 67.83 percent from a year earlier.
The May sales, however, represented a significant rebound from April, when the figure plunged by a monthly 55 percent and a year-on-year 71 percent to NT$590 million, the lowest since the company launched an initial public offering in March 2002.
HTC said its sales picked up in May after it started shipments of its first-of-a-kind 5G mobile smart hub, in cooperation with foreign telecom companies, such as Telstra in Australia, Three in the United Kingdom, Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Sunrise in Switzerland, and Elisa in Finland.
In addition, Sprint, one of the major telecom carriers in the United States, started pre-sale orders in mid-May for HTC’s 5G hub for use in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City, and shipments began May 31, the Taiwanese company said.
HTC’s 5G smart hub, which was unveiled at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February, is essentially a 5G mobile hotspot for up to 20 users.
It can also serve as a mobile hub for streaming TV shows and movies and comes equipped with a battery, which allows for mobility.
According to HTC, 5G will be a game-changer in virtual reality and augmented reality, and the new HTC 5G Hub seamlessly delivers that bandwidth to its VR devices.
In addition to the new 5G product, HTC’s VR products such as its Vive line of headsets have also boosted its sales, according to market analysts.
The Vive Pro Eye, which is equipped with eye-tracking hardware and is geared toward enterprise clients, went on sale in Europe and Taiwan in mid-May and is scheduled to be released elsewhere later in the year.
On the mobile phone side of its business, HTC is expected to launch its next flagship smartphone model in the second half of the year, while its next-generation Blockchain phone the Exodus 1 is scheduled to be released in the third quarter.
At the company’s annual general meeting on June 21, its shareholders will vote on a proposal to issue a NT$0.38 cash dividend per share on its earnings for 2018, when it turned a profit for the first time in four years.
In 2018, HTC posted a net profit of NT$12 billion, compared with a net loss of NT$16.91 billion in 2017, ending a three-year losing streak.
The company reported an earnings per share of NT$14.72 in 2018, compared with a loss per share of NT$20.58 the previous year.
The 2018 upturn was attributed primarily to a one-time profit booked on the US$1 billion sale of HTC’s smartphone ODM assets to Google Inc., which boosted HTC’s EPS to NT$25.70 for the first quarter.
HTC’s consolidated sales for the whole of 2018 fell by an annual 61.78 percent to NT$23.74 billion, the seventh straight year of decline amid stiff competition in the high-end and mid-range segments of the global smartphone market.
By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang