Sat, Oct 19, 2013 - Page 13 News List

HTC launches assault on Chinese cities

A BIGGER SLICE:HTC intends to grow its Chinese market share to 20 percent and is targeting the biggest cities, with a plan to increase stores to 4,000 from 3,000

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter, in Greater Kaohsiung

Jack Tong, head of HTC’s Greater China operations, yesterday holds up the company’s latest smartphone, the One Max, which boasts a 5.9-inch display, at a product launch in Greater Kaoshiung.

Photo: Lee Chiu-ming, Taipei Times

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday said it has targeted China’s 10 most-populated cities to sell its latest One Max smartphone, which has a 5.9-inch display, in its effort to expand its Chinese market share to 20 percent.

HTC made the remarks before it launched its latest smartphone in Greater Kaohsiung yesterday.

The company said it had cleaned most of its inventories in China last quarter and that the company expected to see the One Max phablet boost sales this quarter.

“HTC will coorporate with Chinese telecom operators to sell its products in China’s big cities,” HTC’s Greater China operations head Jack Tong (董俊良) told reporters ahead of a product launch event.

HTC will work with China’s major mobile operators, including China Mobile Ltd (中國移動), to sell its One series flagship smartphones, Tong said.

“Then, we will gradually increase the number of our stores in second-tier cities,” Tong added.

HTC planned to increase the number of its Chinese stores to 4,000 next year from the current 3,000 stores in China’s first-tier cities, including Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai.

HTC aims to grow its Chinese market share to 20 percent in competition with Chinese smartphone vendors, including Lenovo Group (聯想), ZTE Corp (中興), Huawei Technologies Co (華為) and Xiaomi Corp (小米), Tong said.

Leveno is the second-biggest smartphone maker in China with market share of 12.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, while ZTE and Huawei ranked No.4 and No.5 respectively, with market shares of 8.8 percent and 8.7 percent, according to IDC’s tally.

“We are determined and working hard to reach our goal,” Tong said.

HTC’s new One Max phablet will be available in Taiwan from next Wednesday at the price of NT$23,900 (US$814.68).

However, mobile users will have to pay only NT$8,990 for the phone by signing a two-year service contract with local telecoms at a monthly minimum fee of between NT$1,343 and NT$1,388, HTC said.

As One Max supports 4G LTE technology, Tong expects the phone will receive a boost from the upcoming launch of 4G services in China.

“We have seen the dawn and our hard work will pay off,” he said.

HTC’s One Max is equiped with Qualcomm Inc’s older-generation Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor, a less powerful processor than the Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz quad-core processor used in Samsung Electronics Co’s 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3.

HTC also said that it aims to take at least a 50 percent share of Taiwan’s phablet market with the launch of its 5.9-inch HTC One Max, going head to head with Samsung Electronics Co’s Galaxy Note series.

The new phablet — a phone and tablet hybrid — will help HTC become the top phablet vendor in its home market, Tong said.

HTC’s shares closed up 0.76 percent at NT$133 in Taipei trading, underperforming the benchmark TAIEX, which gained 0.79 percent.

Additional reporting by CNA.

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