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HTC Source | January 19, 2018

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HTC’s April revenue numbers hint at a One M9 flop

HTC’s April revenue numbers hint at a One M9 flop

HTC closed out the first quarter of 2015 on a positive note, but things appear to be taking a turn for the worse. Revenue for the month of April came in at NT$13.5 billion ($440 million USD), a 39% year-over-year drop. What’s more embarrassing is that April’s revenue was 33% lower than the revenue HTC reported for the month of March. The number is certainly a disappointment for those who thought HTC would continue its upward trend, but the company may still be able to meet its projected guidance of NT$46 billion to NT$51 billion in revenue for this quarter.

Due to HTC’s flagship smartphone release cycle, HTC’s revenue numbers are typically at their highest in the month of April as the company’s flagship smartphone is sold to retailers and service providers across the globe. The low revenue numbers don’t really give us any indication as to how many consumers have purchased the HTC One M9, but they do reveal that retail channels didn’t purchase as many units to stock their shelves as they typically do.

Some analysts are blaming slow sales of the One M9 on the Snapdragon 810 processor and it’s thermal throttling issues. We have a different theory. While the HTC One M9 is beautifully designed, performs admirably and sports a decent camera – Samsung really stepped up its game this year with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Everyone we’ve talked to isn’t comparing the HTC One M9 to the Samsung Galaxy S6 to device which smartphone they are going to buy. They are comparing the S6 to the S6 Edge, leaving HTC’s flagship smartphone completely out of the picture.

Source: HTC, Taipei Times


About Nick Gray

Tech enthusiast, Android user and founder of the first HTC blog – Nick Gray has been blogging about HTC phones before most people knew what a smartphone even was. Over the years Nick has owned and tested dozens HTC devices and is constantly flashing new ROMs to his Android phones.


  1. Unique

    At this point in time I’m not even sure that HTC can do anything in terms of the storm that samsung has cooked up
    Here in the UK I hardly seen any M9s (I know it’s still early) and don’t think I see much in the future. advertising is even spars
    Last year I notice so many M8 and HTC phones
    I still think HTC make great products but with everything that is happening in the company it’s truly affecting their ability to operate wisely for the consumer

    • Kwadwo Boadu

      I live in the Uk too and I am also yet to see the One M9 in the wild, however I have also not seen the S6. A week after the Iphone 6 was available I saw countless handsets around. In respect of advertising, to be honest I have seen a lot of adverts on the TV, Facebook and Youtube. However, when I went to an EE store and asked about the One M9, immediately the shop assistant told me about how reviews have been a little negative, and I am guessing that is pointing less tech savvy people away.

      • Jeans

        I did see few M9s in UK.

        Camera screen yes something for everyone but nobody mentioned what is for me important. Amazing sound from jack better than M8.

        Dont want keep external amp in my pocket. Just decent phone.

        So I dont get that samsungs screen on edge did play with model before. Dont see need for it a bit like 3D tv.
        What I get is like samsung top tvs line have read on amazon reviews. People buy it, all oh and ah but after 1year or max 2 end up in bin bcoz is broken.
        HTC is solid performer at least for me and maybe not as flashy as new edge but I hope will keep me working on it without problems.

  2. Kwadwo Boadu

    I think the biggest thing the numbers show is that, people don’t mean it when they say battery life is the most important thing to them as the Samsung Galaxy S6 does not have the best in the bunch battery life. What it shows is that brand power and marketing is key and that fallacious comments/rumours in the media about the 810, can have lasting damage.

    • David Andrus

      Battery life has been shown by several sources to be at least as good if not better on the s6. I researched my new phone very heavily before buying, and there nothing the m9 offered other than the replacement plan to convince me to buy one. Camera and screen are better, I wanted a finger print scanner, and battery life is at least par (haven’t had the reported issues with mine at least). Switched out touchwiz with Nova launcher and I honestly think the s6 wins on just about every count.

      • Kwadwo Boadu

        The sources you are referring to use battery benchmarks to
        test the battery and they have been shown to be very unreliable and not a true
        picture of real world uses. For example, Phonearena puts the phone down to 200
        nits and then plays a video loop, this fails to account for different screen
        technology, standby time etc. Sources that use real world testing; have shown
        that the M9 has better screen on time and standby time than the S6. I’ve got to
        disagree about everything else being better. Speakers are better, including from what I have read/heard through headphones and phone calls, ram management is better on the m9, front facing camera is on par, but manual controls on the camera and the picture editing software is better and “more fun”. The software experience though on par for now, is arguably better on the M9 due to HTC at least once a week, updating it’s software through the playstore and also improving the optimisation through HTC Service Pack updates on the Google Playstore. The theme engine is much more robust and daily the number of themes, wallpapers and icon packs is increasing. The build material is more durable compared to glass and I have heard reports about the paint around the rim of the S6’s camera lens beginning to rub off, you now have RAW Mode on the M9…… To name a few things. Sorry to write an “essay” but I think people are a bit too quick to dismiss the M9.

        • David Andrus

          I’ll concede some of your points; I agree that ram management often just isn’t what it should be. Have to cross my fingers that an update will fix that. As far battery, I didn’t only look at benchmark scores. There were real world side by side carries showing real time battery information was at least equal, m9 doing better on some and s6 better on others. As far as photography, yes the front camera is about equal, but the rear is not, by a decent amount. Also, very few people really care about RAW capabilities for a smartphone, but the s6 will reportedly have this capability with 5.1.1 so even that is a wash.

          I didn’t get to test call quality when I handled the m9, but my understanding is that you’re right about that. However, using a phone for voice calls these days, for me personally, is maybe only 5% of total phone usage, so I’m not too concerned with that. Same for sound experience; if I want to really enjoy music or a video or game on my phone, I’m going to plug in headphones. These critiques are all very subjective, but I do feel like htc simply focused on the wrong things.

          I know what you’re saying about the marketing, s6 ads are seemingly everywhere and htc is a few posters scattered on random websites, but that’s not the sole reason for the s6 better at all. That’s the point I didn’t make very well in my last comment. Trust me, I researched my next phone waaaaaaay more than I should have, and was looking forward to the m9 all up until I compared it to the s6 edge. Samsung nailed it this round, and htc stood still.

          Sorry for the response essay 🙂 I’m not trying to call the m9 a bad phone, I’m saying the s6 is a great phone, and marketing isn’t what won my money.

          Hope the vr keeps htc afloat long enough for them to make the m10. Lord knows apple and Sammy need as much competition as those lazy bastards can get.

          • Kwadwo Boadu

            You’ve probably been the most reasonable person to discuss this with online, so I definitely respect what you have said. From HTC’s forecast they know that their smartphone division will keep them afloat, so the risk is more with the VR they are making. I have got to agree with you, if I was being completely objective at this moment in time I would have to say that Samsung have got the leg up on HTC this year. But I think time will play a factor too, in respect of software updates and what they bring. I suggest we also look at the treatment of older flagships, because HTC have promised to give the One M8 Sense 7 in August and will likely bring Android M to the M8 by March next year, however I’m not sure the same can be said for Samsung’s flagships.

    • barack313

      You summed it up perfectly. HTC always seems a dollar late and a day short. I have the M9 and I’m satisfied with it, (no over-heating issues with the 810) but when you are a struggling company such as they are, ANY negative press is a potential killer.

  3. Stephen Brown

    The phone didn’t even come out in a lot of markets until may so i think it’s a bit early to make assumptions this early.

  4. Harold Goldner

    The May numbers will be more telling (and certainly the second quarter numbers), unless sales outside the USA of the M9+ have been staggering.

  5. Unique

    hypothetical question : if the camera was better would they be in the position ?
    I mean is that the only thing that people are worried about
    the design has changed not drastically but for the better (no scratches on the chamfered for example)
    I’m so sure that cameras sell phones these days
    I actually enjoy then M9 as I’m not a camera pro

    • David Andrus

      Camera (lack of ois in a thicker phone) and processor are what did it for me. The fact that the new LG isn’t using 810 is a huge tell. I sympathize with htc, it’s not their fault qualcom screwed up.

  6. Scott Stevenson

    M7 -> M8 -> S6 enough said.

    • s3m3n

      That’s it. HTC changed almost nothing from 2 years, while S6 is a huge progress. As a really big fan of HTC I bought S6 Edge this month and it feels in hand like million dollars. Market is awful for manufacturers, everyone expects something new, but HTC just doesn’t care in this field…

  7. I haven’t seen one commercial for the M9. Where’s the advertising, where’s the commercials???

  8. Muayyad Al-Mulla

    Apple retook a lot of customers and Samsung is going to do that even more.

  9. G.H.

    M9 is still out of stock in official stores in Russia (and maybe in other countries as well). I believe HTC may pay money to change some hardware things before launching here and that is the point of decrease. Otherwise I don’t have a clue on the delay

  10. Tarcísio Medeiros

    In my opinion, there’s a lot of reasons to M9 do not sell well.

    1) They say they put Full HD to have a better battery, but excluding the S6 from the competition, I never read a review that said M9 has a batter battery than M8, even having more than 10% and SD810 having a better energy usage. Buy another cellphone to have a worse battery is non-sense

    2) More or less 1 month later, they announce M9+, which have fingerprint scanner and dual camera. M9 already born being overpast. Ah, and again you cannot buy it, because HTC only launches them in Asia

    3) Speaking about the camera, I don’t know how S6, LG G4 and even iPhone 6/6+ have upgraded their camera, M8 did not, m9 could have a 20MP one, but it’s still the worse camera between the flagships.

    4) HTC does not hear their costumers. A lot of people complained about that huge black bar which is useless. I don’t believe in one year they could not put capacitive buttons back or designed that Nexus 9-like cellphone, which as a deception to me. The M8 can have the best design for me, but with two reasons, the M9 have a bad design problem.

    5) HTC always had bad marketing, and I don’t know how they decided to put HTC Ultimate as Flagship in Brazil some years ago. Brazil is one of biggest smartphones market, and they just got away (despite Sense 6~7 is still available in Brazilian Portuguese). As some people are saying, they launch new smartphones in specific areas in different months, you never know when you can buy it.

    • 1) HTC hasn’t optimized for octacore/64-bit fully yet. There’s still quite a lot of work to be done in future updates. For now, enabling power saver to turn off the high-power cores does quite a lot of good to battery life without impacting performance at all. Even without power saver, you will get good battery life on the M9, although without power saver there is not much difference from the M8. As it currently stands, power saver is much better, and hopefully future optimizations. [Personally, I’m getting 5 hours screen on and 20 hours total without power saver, or 5 hours / 24h with power saver. I am on LTE constantly, never WiFi, with Twitter streaming and multiple apps syncing every hour, plus 3 email accounts with push notifications, and G+ Auto Backup uploading over mobile network.]

      2) M9+ has a MediaTek processor which is much worse than SD810, and the fingerprint scanner and Duo camera are gimmicky. Plus, the resolution is 1440p on a MUCH weaker GPU than the Adreno 430. I would not say the M9+ is a better device than the M9 at all. It simply has a slightly bigger screen and a few fringe additions.

      3) HTC also has a long way to go with their new 20MP camera. Personally, they did take a few steps back with the loss of 2.0um pixels and f/2.0 aperture, but the biggest problem with the camera is that HTC is still tuning their algorithms as if they are dealing with only 4MP photos. The sharpening is aggressive and destructive to the picture quality, and it is much better to disable HTC’s sharpening by putting it at -2 and then applying a sharpness filter in the gallery or in an editing app like Photoshop or Instagram. It’s fixable with software updates, but HTC really rushed the camera on the M9, likely because their marketing team pushed them to use a 20MP camera in the first place. (Which, IMO, HTC’s biggest problem is their marketing department…) For social media posts, it REALLY doesn’t matter because the quality is more than enough after scaling it down to 0.3MP, but for more serious photos, it actually performs quite nicely in RAW mode. It could be better, of course, if its aperture weren’t f/2.2 and if it had bigger pixels, but it produces good results. Currently, however, the Auto results are really unacceptable and require a lot of fine tuning or disabling/post-processing to be acceptable. HTC is doing themselves a big disservice by not being ready with the camera from Day 1.

      4) Black bar still has screen drivers underneath, so it’s either black bar or an even bigger bezel. Or they could get rid of Boomsound and use normal front-facing speakers. I don’t think that’s the best option, and I don’t know if I would like capacitive buttons again, either. I like on-screen buttons because they are more flexible and customizable. They can also be hidden, while capacitive buttons cannot be hidden or rotated, as they are always there. The black bar is a design tradeoff, because HTC thinks that the speaker quality is worth adding a few mm of extra height.

      5) Yes. HTC probably would do better if they fired their entire marketing department. As far as worldwide availability, HTC is still constrained in their supply chain and they cannot coordinate a smooth worldwide launch like Apple or Samsung can. They do not have the market power to do so in their current state. It certainly doesn’t help, I know.

      • Tarcísio Medeiros


        1) Battery on M9 is about 10% bigger, in a more efficient chip, so it should last longer. Galaxy Note 4 which is QHD packs 3200mAh and so have one of the bests battery on the market. Battery usage depends on a lot of things, I don’t know if it is worse, same, or better, but all review I’ve read, all of them said it was worse. It CAN be fixed on updates, or maybe it will not. People won’t buy hoping that it will be fixed. When I use Power saving mode, it gets slower, not so much, but for a guy who have spent R$ 2800 (About U$ 1100 in that time) in a cellphone, I would not like to have a non-smooth and slow cellphone.

        2) I don’t know how MediaTek chips are, but a few people uses to play 3D games which could use all power from the processor. If they play 2D and be smooth in aplications, the people will prefer it.

        3) You can adjust camera, use software, but the people which will buy a S6 or iPhone will not use it. People want to just take a picture and it shoots perfect, not to adjust here or there. Many people even don’t know what is RAW. It’s another thing that could get better with an update, but for now, it’s very worse than the competition.

        4) About the Bezels, It could be a choice on M8, but not on M9. On M7 it does have a great speaker with capacitive buttons, after the launch of m8 they had ONE YEAR to develop a design without that huge bezels, and it’s not about the BoomSound, Desire 526G+ have huge bezels without BoomSound Speakers. On M9+ it has fingerprint scanner but it doesn’t have space for capacitive buttons? And again, I’ve read the fingerprint is very fast. And it’s very helpful to have secured your files.
        M8 Eye was launched only in Asia too, having a 13MP camera. Despite taking worse pictures in low light, in great light it was better than M8, and as far as I know, you could change it.

      • Kwadwo Boadu

        You have made some solid points there! I was really concerned about suggesting this phone to people, and solely basing things off my One M8 experience and reviews of the device. It is nice to hear this from a user like yourself, and gives me more confidence to say this will easily give someone a full day’s battery. Something I find interesting from reviews is when they complain about the camera under exposing or overexposing in some scenes, when all they need to to, even in auto mode, is increase it or lower it. Same for when pictures are noisy in low light, in Auto mode they can just cap ISO, not to mention the wonders Manual mode can sometimes work.

        A final thing people tend to not know is that HTC is almost on par with Google at the moment in updating their apps on the playstore. For the past month I have had a minimum of 2 updates a week on the Playstore, one of which was a Service Pack which has seemed to improve the standby time on My M8.

        Finally, the Toshiba sensor that HTC used was only released by Toshiba last last year and considering what you said, it seems like choosing it may have been a late decision. Meaning that they probably have not had anywhere near the required time to optimize for it. Whereas Samsung and Apple can almost dictate to Sony the type of Sensor they want, and LG make their own, HTC without the manufacturing ability and the bargaining position does not have the same luxury. My hope is that, if they do stick with Toshiba, they have some deal in place that they get a bigger sensor with bigger pixels (mind you 1.12 microns at a 20MP size is still quite impressive) and a lot more time to fine tune how Auto Mode works. If this means delaying the release cycle of the next flagship by 6 weeks, they should take the late hit to ensure a good experience from day 1.

  11. Jeans

    All new Samsung LG Sony lovers you will be back to old good HTC. Be fair and remember to write what problems you have with new devices.

    One plus One oh ah all read was hot better than most flagships.
    Put this way happy that bought M8. Not for processor camera or whatever just simple things like screen couldnt see as good using phone outside.

    Played with Note Edge few months ago. Sorry dont get why I need such a screen.

    I hope you will be happy with new devices but I am not convinced by Samsung about quality. Wouldnt buy even washing machine from them. Years ago it was just no name maybe like HTC. Maybe HTC is still no name for majority but hey Samsung is not quality.

  12. Zoltan

    M7 < M8, M9 S6..
    Now enough said.
    Respect to that thought, this exactly why HTC failed this year. HTC does a exclusive launch of M9+ to China/India after launching M9 U.S. and EU markets. M9 became HTC’s poster child with captions “You are not worthy of a 5.2in QHD display, fingerprint scanner, Duo Cam” HTC alienated there loyal fan base by trying to sell a watered down M9+ and top it off deceived them by calling M9 there flagship.. Further more as sits now HTC has let those with a M7 One Max hanging out in the cold as well..Not even a rumor if a refresh for that device.