Smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) on Tuesday signed a global cooperation deal with Vodafone Group PLC, the world’s largest mobile phone operator by revenue, that will draw the two partners closer in markets around the world, starting with Turkey.
“Turkey has become our second-largest market in Europe and one of our fastest-growing markets in the world,” HTC chief executive Peter Chou (周永明) said in an e-mailed statement on the deal, which was signed in Turkey.
“Although Turkey has run the 3G mobile network for only two years, its smartphone market has grown surprisingly during the period so that we decided to put a lot of resources in the country,” he said.
According to HTC, the deal will tighten its relationship with Vodafone and expand the range of HTC products available through its network.
In Turkey, for example, the world’s No. 5 smartphone maker will sell its highly anticipated Flyer tablet PC, due out later this month, along with four other smartphones — the flagship Sensation, mid-level Desire S and Wildfire S and entry-level ChaCha.
Vodafone’s Turkey unit is the second-largest mobile network operator in the country, with 16.7 million subscribers as of last year and a market share of approximately 27 percent, behind Turkcell’s 54 percent.
Based on the intense competition among Turkey’s three major mobile operators and its improving mobile infrastructure, mobile subscribers are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8 percent between this year and 2014, according to research firm Market Research. It also predicted Turkey’s mobile penetration rate should exceed 108 percent by the end of 2014.
HTC expects to ship 11 million to 11.5 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter, up from 9.7 million units in the first quarter, which will help generate revenue of NT$120 billion (US$4.2 billion).