Tue, Nov 05, 2013 - Page 14 News List

HTC denies a ‘female’ One for India

Staff writer, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday denied Facebook speculation that it will launch a version of its HTC One smartphone aimed specifically at women in India, the world’s third-largest smartphone market, during an upcoming marketing event.

HTC’s India branch posted a photograph on Facebook on Sunday that read: “Hello ladies, it’s time to be the stylish One this November. Stayed tuned,” with a logo of fashion guide site “Little Black Book of Style” featured in the upper-left corner.

Some HTC fans left messages on the photo saying that they expect an HTC One phone for ladies exclusively, such as a pink model.

However, the Taiwanese handset maker told reporters that in fact the event “has nothing to do with phones” and is instead to be held in cooperation with its partners in the fashion industry to celebrate the Indian New Year holiday.

The event came after a recent announcement that HTC will launch three to five new phones in India by next month, priced at between 20,000 Indian rupees (US$324) and 40,000 rupees, according to media reports.

The Taoyuan-based company is also considering selling smartphones costing less than 10,000 rupees, including models priced as low as 5,000 to 6,000 rupees, the reports said.

HTC India head Faisal Siddiqui was quoted in the reports as saying that HTC aims to increase its market share in India from 3 percent to 6 percent and up to 15 percent in the next three quarters.

The company is selling products through 4,000 Indian multibrand outlets and wants to increase the number to 7,000 in the next six months, while its sales service stores are expected to grow from 250 to 400, Siddiqui said.

Industry analysts have estimated that India’s smartphone sales will reach 25 million to 26 million this year, up from 18 million last year, with models priced at less than 10,000 rupees accounting for about 50 percent of the total shipments.

Samsung Electronics Co is the largest smartphone vendor in India, taking a 26 percent market share in the second quarter of this year, according to an IDC quarterly mobile tracker report.

However, the South Korean electronics giant saw its share drop due to intense competition from local Indian handset makers, such as Micromax and Karbonn, which grabbed market shares of 22 percent and 13 percent respectively, ranking second and third.

“The key for growth in this market, as with most emerging markets, is a low-priced phone equipped with a large screen and dual SIM slots,” IDC client devices group senior market analyst Kiranjeet Kaur said.

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