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HTC Gets Hulk-Smashed by Apple-Samsung Dominance, European Woes, Microsoft's Shunning, and Yet Another Patent Fight


Former smartphone highflyer HTC was just hit with a mountain of bad news.


Think you're having a bad day?

Well, check out what's going on at Taiwanese gadget-maker HTC, which just got hit by one of the biggest streams of simultaneous bad news I've ever seen.

To start, HTC, once a major player in Google (GOOG) Android smartphones, significantly lowered guidance.

For the second quarter, the company now expects to report revenues of NT $91 billion, which is 13% lower than the NT $105 billion forecast issued on April 24. [Editor's Note: The New Taiwan Dollar (or NT) is worth US 3.35 cents.]

HTC cited lower-than-expected sales to Europe, and delayed shipments and product launches in the US.

However, investors should keep in mind that HTC had already been seeing declining sales at the hands of the category-killing Apple (AAPL) iPhone and Samsung Galaxy product lines. (See: Samsung and Apple Are Set to Continue Their Domination of the Global Smartphone Market.)

In the first quarter of 2012, Gartner reported that HTC's unit sales dropped by a whopping 17%, while Apple and Samsung saw 96% and 26% gains, respectively, as you can see in this chart:

HTC's sales are slowing nearly as quickly as Nokia's (NOK) and Research In Motion's (RIMM)!

So should we really be surprised by this latest guidance reduction?

I think not.

However, the bad news for HTC didn't end there.

Our friends at Bloomberg reported yesterday that Microsoft (MSFT) will not allow HTC to produce Windows tablets, according to "people with knowledge of the matter."


Because "HTC doesn't sell enough devices or have ample experience making tablets."

That seems unfair, given Microsoft's zero historical success in the tablet market. Oh well, that might not matter since there isn't really a tablet market. If you look at the numbers, you'll see it's more of an iPad market. (See: Amazon's Kindle Fire Gets Smashed as Apple's iPad Regains Tablet Market Share.)

As if all this wasn't enough, on Wednesday, Apple filed an enforcement action with the International Trade Commission in an attempt to block US sales of key HTC products like the One X smartphones.

So yes, kids, in VH1 parlance, HTC is having the worst week ever.

Here's a video metaphor for the whole mess:

Twitter: @MichaelComeau

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