Wed, May 14, 2008 - Page 12 News List

HTC counting on new smartphone to lift sales

DIAMOND TOUCH HTC said it had received strong feedback from customers about its new phone, which is expected to compete with the next-generation iPhone

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

From left, Chunghwa Telecom chairman Hochen Tan, High Tech Computer (HTC) chief executive Peter Chou, HTC creative director Horace Luke and Microsoft's senior director of device solutions sales in Asia Eddie Wu hold up models of HTC's newest Diamond Touch cellphone.

PHOTO: WANG YI-HUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

High Tech Computer Corp (HTC, 宏達電), the world's top maker of Microsoft Windows-based smartphones, said yesterday that the third quarter would be a better period for the company, aided by sales of its much-anticipated new Touch series.

HTC plans to ship the latest member of its Touch family — HTC Touch Diamond — later this month to customers in Europe and in Asia after a debut of the 3.5-generation phone with telecom operator Orange last week in Europe, where the biggest portion of its revenues is generated.

“I have confidence in Diamond overall ... We should do well in the second quarter, and the third quarter will be even better,” HTC chief executive Peter Chou (周永明) told reporters yesterday.

Asked about the reason for his confidence, Chou answered by waving the Diamond phone in his hand and said: “We have received strong feedback from our customers.”

HTC’s new Touch series will compete with Apple Inc’s next-generation iPhone as speculation mounts that the US maker would announce a major upgrade to the device at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month.

HTC expects to sell more than 3 million Diamond phones this year in cooperation with mobile carriers and retail channels, Chou said.

“I believe Diamond will contribute largely to our finances. I’m optimistic about it,” Chou said.

HTC told investors late last month that revenues would expand more than 20 percent to approximately NT$34 billion during the April to June period from NT$27 billion a year ago, helped by sales of the new smartphone. The uptake of the new phone would impact on revenue growth, HTC said at the time.

HTC plans to sell the new Touch series in more than 30 countries around the world.

At home, HTC will work with the nation’s biggest telecom carrier, Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), to sell the phone bundled with a new number late next month. Chunghwa Telecom has sold more than 200,000 HTC Touch smartphones.

The HTC Touch Diamond features high-speed 3.5G Internet connection, built-in YouTube for users to download videos and a 2.8-inch touch screen.

Separately, HTC said the cooperation with Internet search giant Google Inc was on track and it planned to launch one mobile phone running the Android mobile operating system by the end of the year.

HTC also plans to develop phones that support high-speed WiMAC (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) or next-generation Long-Term Evolution Internet connection, the company said.

HTC shares rose 0.24 percent, or NT$2, to NT$847 yesterday, underperforming the benchmark TAIEX, which rose 1.81 percent.

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