The Rise and Fall of HTC

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 6 2012 9:43 AM

The Rise and Fall of HTC

1344260599302

Taiwan's HTC reported a 45 percent year-on-year decline in sales, triggering share-price losses large enough to trigger the Taipei market's rules automatically preventing a firm's stock from falling more than a certain amount in a given day. But as seen above, to understand the rise and fall of HTC, it's helpful to gain a multiyear perspective.

Basically they rocketed up the international mobile phone vendor league tables on the back of Android's early growth, but now they're having their lunch eaten by a mixture of Samsung on the high-end and off-brand Chinese vendors on the low end. The Android OS is a huge success in terms of market share, but it's been a very treacherous business proposition. Only Samsung is really making it work right now. HTC was making it work at one point, but then it all vanished with frightening speed.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.