HTC Blames iPhone for Declining Smartphone Sales

Android smartphone maker HTC’s fourth quarter profits dropped 26 percent, and the company is blaming competition from Apple’s iPhone for the decline. The company is also warning that the current quarter’s revenue could dip another 36 percent, too, thanks to Apple’s combination iPod and smartphone.

“Our weakness in first-quarter guidance… comes from facing competition in the U.S. from iPhone and Samsung,” HTC CFO Winston Yung said, according to Fortune.

HTC: Fall from graceHTC Android smartphones lose their shine

HTC was the top smartphone maker in the U.S. with its Android lineup, although the iPhone’s popularity, along with growing consumer interest in Samsung’s products, has dethroned the once reigning king.

A recent IDC report claimed that the iPhone’s popularity has propelled Apple up to become the third largest mobile phone maker in the world. That rating includes all mobile phones, and not just smartphones.

The world’s biggest mobile phone maker is Nokia with 26.6 percent of the market, with Samsung in second place holding 22.8 percent of the market. Apple’s 8.7 percent tops LG’s 4.1 percent. RIM no longer gets its own ranking, and instead is lumped into the “other” category.

Apple also now rakes in some 75 percent of the world’s smartphone profits, which likely helped with the decline HTC reported and the warning it gave to analysts.

HTC plans to unveil four new Android-based smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, although there isn’t any guarantee those phones will help turn around the company’s losses and draw customers away from the iPhone.