HTC is confident in the One M8. Despite evidence possibly pointing to low initial consumer interest, HTC maintains that it’s “very satisfied” with demand, and feels that once sales begin in earnest later this week, the phone will finally be able to show its true mettle. But if we’re to accurately evaluate what impact the One M8 has on HTC’s business, we have to know just where it stood, coming up to the phone’s launch. We looked at Q4 2013 financial numbers back in February, and today we get our first peek at Q1 2014 data. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t tell a very positive tale.
Let’s back up for a second; HTC grabbed headlines last fall when it posted its first quarterly loss ever. That seemed to rebound in Q4, and we saw a small $10M profit. For Q1 2014, the numbers are back down – way down – and we’re looking at an operating loss of about $68M, for a net loss of $62M after taxes. Compared to Q3 2013’s $101M loss, this is a little less brutal, but it’s nonetheless an awful spot for HTC to find itself in.
Sure, the new One M8 was on sale for the very tail end of Q1, but in a broader sense we can look at this $62M loss as our baseline: what HTC makes this next quarter is likely to be primarily driven by One M8 sales, and how those next quarterly numbers compare to this loss will tell the tale of the flagship’s success (or lack thereof). That makes Q2 2014 arguably the most important period for HTC since the same time last year. Back then it turned a $42M profit; will it be able to reclaim that even meager level of success, or maybe surpass it? We’ll know in another three months.