2009 Hasn't Been So Great for HTC (Wait, What?)

By most measures, HTC looks like a company that should be cleaning up: they own the market for Android phones, the press watches their every move, and they've got popular handsets on nearly every carrier. So what's all this about?

"This," in case your index finger is tired, is an announcement from the company that they expect their 2009 earnings report to show a decline in revenue, despite expectation for a 10% increase. It might sound surprising, but it's matter a perspective. To a lot of us, HTC bears the scent of a lean up and comer. That's not at all what they are, which is why this all makes sense:

HTC is the world's largest maker of phones using Microsoft Corp.'s operating system, in terms of shipments... "The outlook has softened for the second half of the year, with June being the turning point for HTC as it faced a lot of competition from Apple," said Yuanta Securities analyst Vincent Chen.

The company's trying to play this off as a matter of product delays "lower than expected" contract orders and the like, and analysts are pointing to other companies entering the fledgling Android space, but internationally, HTC lives and dies by Window Mobile. It's not the greatest position to be in, and one they're trying to move from, but as far as 2009 goes, that's their story. [WSJ]