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HTC may drop to No. 8 smartphone maker in Q4: Morgan Stanley

2012/11/07 10:59:03

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. may see its market share decline further in the year-end holiday shopping season due to the limited contribution to sales from new products, U.S. brokerage Morgan Stanley said recently.

In a report dated Nov. 5, Morgan Stanley forecast worldwide smartphone shipments to reach 226.3 million units in the fourth quarter, a rise of 26 percent from the third quarter.

HTC will ship 6.4 million smartphones during the period, which would rank it eighth with only a 2.8 percent market share, the brokerage predicted.

In the July-September quarter, HTC shipped 7.3 million smartphones and remained the world's fifth-largest smartphone vendor with a 4 percent market share, according to data compiled by research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).

"Its new models are late to ramp up starting from November on top of sustained operating expense," Jasmine Lu, a Morgan Stanley analyst in Hong Kong, wrote in the report.

"This might cause the company to suffer from operating deleverage, thus pressuring margins in the near term."

The analyst remained cautious on HTC's new product shipments to distributors, especially Windows 8-based smartphones, because the market response to such models remains sluggish.

Lu said she will be closely watching how consumers respond to several HTC flagship phones such as the HTC One X+, HTC J Butterfly and the HTC DLX, which have secured good feedback prior to their launch.

Based on the Morgan Stanley report, Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. will remain as the top two smartphone vendors with market shares of 28 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

China's Huawei Technologies Co. is projected to rank third with a 5.3 percent share, followed by LG Electronics Inc. with a 3.7 percent share, ZTE Corp. with a 3.6 percent share, Nokia Oyj with a 3.5 percent share and Research In Motion with a 3.3 percent share, the report said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)