HTC: 2012 "focus on the product" to avoid Nokia fate

HTC has insisted it is not another Nokia, relying on a "focus on the product" in early 2012 including "some worldwide flagship products" to restore its position in the smartphone market. Despite investors' negative reaction to HTC slashing its Q4 forecast last week, CFO Winston Yung is still confident the company can turn things around; "I don't think it's so serious" the finance chief told Reuters, suggesting that both LTE devices for the US and other products for the international market were on the cards.

"We will focus on the product next year, better and more competitive" Yung argued. "Other than new LTE phones for the U.S. market, we also have phones for the global market. We will launch some worldwide flagship products. We're confident in them."

Although the share price is still falling, Yung said that HTC wasn't in the same situation as Nokia, currently the byword for struggling in the mobile industry. "We have six quarters of improvement, the most conservative guidance is 45 million units of shipments this year," he pointed out, referring to analyst predictions of how many devices HTC is likely to ship in 2011, "a lot higher than 25 million last year."

As we wrote yesterday, HTC is feeling the pinch as rivals outpace its hardware; the company has also struggled to make aggressive use of its software and services, despite investing in the online HTC Sense portal and cloud-gaming favorite OnLive. Meanwhile, a few high-profile defeats in the patent courts are believed to have contributed significantly to HTC's shift in forecasts.