Samsung waxes, HTC wanes in smartphone wars

As they fight Apple’s iPhone, two of Android’s key exponents are seeing divergent fortunes in the Far East:

  • Samsung on Friday said it expects Q2 2012 profit to beat analysts’ estimates at up to 6.9 trillion won ($6 billion)
  • But HTC reported forecast same-quarter profit will more than halve to TWD $7.4 billion ($247.4 million), below analysts’ expectations.

Of course, Samsung makes more than just phones, and has not broken out its mobile performance, so attributing the rise to its Galaxy range is difficult to do, this quarter coming just as Samsung’s Smart TV sales also grow.

Nevertheless, one anonymous executive tells Reuters some retailers are reporting 40 to 60 percent growth in Galaxy sales following its Galaxy S3 release. HMC Investment Securities analyst Nho Geun-chang tells Reuters he is forecasting 19 million S3 shipments this quarter, pushing Samsung mobile revenue to five trillion won ($4.3 billion).

In April, HTC said the prior six months had been “a rebuilding period” as it introduced its rival HTC One line-up, adding: “We believe it will take HTC into its next phase of growth.”

Both Samsung and HTC cited Europe’s troublesome economies for hampering growth. But HTC appears more troubled than Samsung, whose Galaxy S3 has impressed more than HTC’s One.

KGI Securities analyst Richard Ko tells Reuters: “In the high-end market, there are Samsung and Apple. In the low-end market, even though HTC wants to gain traction in China, its phones are price uncompetitive.”