HTC Corp (宏達電) has fallen off the list of the world’s top 10 phone brands for a second consecutive quarter last quarter, a report by Gartner yesterday showed.
The report shows the Taiwanese smartphone vendor’s share of the global market fell to 1.3 percent during the first quarter of the year, from 1.4 percent in the previous quarter.
Its phone shipments fell 19.88 percent to 5.36 million units from 6.69 million during the fourth quarter of last year, the report showed.
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co retained its position as the world’s largest phone seller in the first quarter with a market share of 23.6 percent, followed by Finnish handset maker Nokia Oyj’s 14.8 percent and iPhone maker Apple Inc’s 9 percent.
HTC has also seen the popularity of its Droid DNA smartphone wane quickly, even though it said earlier that the model, which is a variant of HTC Battery for the Asian market, had generated strong sales.
Yesterday, Verizon Communications Inc, the largest US telecom carrier, launched a promotion plan to trim its two-year contract price for Droid DNA from US$199.99 to zero. Verizon said on its Web site that the promotion would last through Tuesday.
Verizon’s promotion comes one week after AT&T Inc, the second-largest US telecom carrier, slashed its price for the Facebook Home-based HTC First smartphone from US$99 to US$0.99 with a two-year agreement.
Released on April 12, the collaboration between Facebook and HTC was designed to test if Facebook Home, an application run on the Android operating system, would draw positive feedback from heavy online social networking netizens and smartphone users.
“HTC First really is an ‘experimental game product’ targeted at only Facebook members. The price drop is reasonable for AT&T because it can help clear out inventories,” Mega Investment Trust Corp (兆豐國際投信) senior analyst Kevin Hsu (許鈞雄) said yesterday by telephone.
Hsu said HTC’s new One model is likely to support the company’s sales through the third quarter of the year before Apple Inc starts selling its next generation iPhone.
However, given the chance that Apple might launch a mid-end smartphone this year, HTC would still have to develop more models or promote itself more strongly to improve its image and sales, Hsu said.