HTC forecasts sales decline for sixth consecutive quarter

Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC has forecast a sales decline for the sixth consecutive quarter in the face of competition from rivals

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Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC has forecast a sales decline for the sixth consecutive quarter, in the face of competition from rivals such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei and ZTE.

HTC expects first-quarter revenue to be $1.7bn-$2bn, which is below the $2.2bn average of 19 analyst estimates, compiled by Bloomberg and down $200m on the first quarter of 2012.

The weaker-than-expected first-quarter revenue outlook follows a 90% year-on-year drop in HTC’s net profit in the fourth quarter

Analysts doubt that 2013 will be a turnaround year for HTC, though some have said the next version of its flagship smartphone, code-named "M7" may help boost sales in the next quarter.

Some analysts said the M7, expected to be launched in mid-February, could give HTC several months’ lead on features such as higher-resolution cameras, according to Reuters.

On Monday, shares of HTC fell 1.6%, while they are down 40% since the start of 2012.

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