As profits fall at HTC, Samsung becomes the smartphone king with record net income

HTC Amaze 4G

RIM isn’t the only smartphone maker taking it on the chin. HTC said today that profits declined for the first time in more than two years, with net income falling 26 percent to $364 million. Bloomberg News reports that sales and shipments are likely to continue to fall in part because Apple and Samsung have successfully grabbed market share from the Taiwan-based phone maker.

In fact, Samsung just announced record quarterly profit, driven largely by the success of the Galaxy line of phones and the one-time sale of its hard-disk drive business.  Samsung is now the biggest maker of smartphones in the world, with analysts reporting that the company sold about 32 million devices during the fourth quarter. Operating profit increased 73 percent to $4.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that HTC sold about 13.2 million units during the third quarter. It didn’t offer fourth quarter sales numbers, though analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said that shipments of HTC phones likely will drop from10 million units to 8.5 million units this quarter.

HTC’s North American operations are located in the Seattle area, and the company is on the prowl for a bigger footprint in the area. The company currently employs about 200 people in Seattle.

As you can see in this chart from November, HTC’s share has grown in recent years, but not quite as fast as Samsung.