UPDATE 1-Smartphone firm HTC sees revenue fall on product delay
* Cuts revenue forecast on product delay, cheaper phones
* Expects to maintain gross margins at around 32 percent
* Revenue fall would lag overall sector growth
* Shares up 36 pct this year vs 54 pct on main board (Recasts with quotes and details)
TAIPEI, July 31 (Reuters) - HTC (2498.TW: Cotización), the world's No. 4 smartphone brand, drastically lowered its 2009 revenue forecast on Friday, standing in stark contrast to other Taiwanese tech companies that have given given upbeat forecasts in recent days.
Revenue this year could fall by a low to mid-single digit percent, compared to its previous forecast for growth of about 10 percent, the company said, blaming a delay in the launch of new products and a faster-than-expected fall in unit shipments.
"Our momentum in the second half of this year may not be as strong as we initially thought it would be," HTC's Chief Executive Peter Chou said during a call with analysts.
"The number of mid-tier smartphones we're pushing out this year will gradually increase, which will push down revenue. Momentum on both the Windows Mobile and Android platforms are also turning out to be weaker than expected."