HTC sales and finance head Chialin Chang said that the company is looking for fourth-quarter growth, stating that its latest forecasts “provide an indication that it’s our intention to grow again, and we hope momentum will continue”.
While (as usual) HTC has not provided any guidance on quarterly shipments, the executive said: “We are forecasting a pretty material increase sequentially in the handset shipment volume, and that is consistent with our intentions to grow, to promote the brand, build brand equity in a profitable way.”
HTC is forecasting Q4 sales in the TWD43 billion ($1.4 billion) to TWD47 billion range, and for the company to remain profitable. This compares with Q3 2014 revenue of TWD41.9 billion, and Q4 2013 sales of TWD42.9 billion.
In a wide-ranging conference call, the finance head noted that sales of its flagship One (M8) remain strong, and that its focus very much remains on the high-end.
“I can tell you that our flagship model this year is still our best-selling model. And it’s also our prediction and our intention that the flagship models are the best-selling model for HTC for years to come. It ties in very closely with our brand promotion and the accumulation of brand equity, and using the halo effect of the flagship model to carry the rest of the products along with it.”
This halo effect will then support “a robust product portfolio that meets the needs of various consumers”.
The company noted that in the third quarter, its mass-market Desire 510 and Desire 610 sold well in the US and Europe, while its Desire 816 maintained solid sales in Taiwan, China, India and the Middle East.
The executive also nixed suggestions that HTC was looking to return to the ODM business, manufacturing devices that would be sold under another brand. “We are not going to do ODM for others, either handsets or tablets. We are open and will consider co-branding opportunities with partners, if it fits our long term growth potential and long-term brand-equity increase”.
This is the approach the company is taking with the Nexus 9 tablet, being offered in partnership with Google. “We don’t see the Google tablet as an ODM business. It’s a co-branding business, you can see HTC’s logo on it,” he said.