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Day October 4, 2013

Estimating HTC's post-traumatic life expectancy

In May 2012 I wrote:

The pattern may be that companies either have short post-trauma lives of about two to three years or relatively long post-trauma lives lasting 4 to 5 years. What determines this life expectancy and how long do RIM, Nokia and LG have?

via Post-traumatic life expectancy of phone vendors | asymco.

These comments came right after BlackBerry (then RIM) announced a loss and thus entered what I called the “post-traumatic” phase of its existence.[1] The observation I have been making is that once a company begins to generate negative operating margins from phone sales, that phone business never recovers.

The question then becomes one of gauging how long they have before the business is sold, dissolved or merged. Since that update, both Nokia and RIM have tentatively agreed to be sold. If the sales go through then we can update the graphs as follows:

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 10-4-11.01.11 AM

[Graph note: solid bars in the second graph indicate companies which exited and thus the duration of life post-trauma.

Notes:
  1. The analysis began earlier, in June 2011 []