HTC Q1 profit down 30% as sales fall

HTC's first-quarter profit dropped 30%, as the Taiwanese company became another handset maker to be hit by slumping demand in what is expected to be a weak quarter for all vendors.

The company's profit fell to $146.7 million, down from $208.7 million in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 3.4% in the quarter to $950 million, down from $983.4 million last year.

HTC said that the company did not meet its revenue forecast of $992.4 million because some of its shipments were delayed.

Despite the weak quarter, which HTC warned of in February, the company has been bullish about its prospects for the full year. HTC CEO Peter Chou reaffirmed the company's projected 10-20% growth forecast for 2009, and said that HTC hopes to make significant inroads in the Chinese market.

HTC will launch at least three handsets based on Google's Android platform this year, including its already announced phone, the Magic.

HTC has increased its smartphone market share, climbing to 4.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008, up from 3.7% in the year-ago quarter, according to Gartner.

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