HTC’s profits plummeted 98% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2013 and chief executive Peter Chou’s future may depend on the success of the company’s new flagship smartphone. HTC was at one point the top-selling smartphone vendor in the United States, however the company’s lead vanished as rivals began innovating faster. Samsung and Apple now ship 22 times more handsets globally than HTC.
“If HTC fails one more time, then they’ll be under pressure to replace the CEO,” Daiwa Securities Group analyst Birdy Lu told Bloomberg. “HTC One is their last chance to come back after the past two years of declines.”
The analyst has an outperform rating on shares of HTC, noting that the appeal of the HTC One is higher than other smartphones. In fact, at least four brokerages have upgraded the company’s stock in the last month. There are still some people who believe that one device won’t be enough to bring HTC back, however.
“I don’t think there’s a lot to justify people buying into HTC right now,” said Calvin Huang, director of Sapphire Capital Partners in Taipei. “The fundamental problem of Chou and his management aren’t changed by HTC One being a good product.
HTC expects One sales to help increase revenue by 63% in the second quarter to roughly $2.4 billion. BGR reviewed the HTC One last month and called it one of the best Android smartphones available today.