Wed, Jan 08, 2014 - Page 13 News List

HTC looks to seal home market spot with 4G handsets

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday said that it is aiming to secure its home market share by selling more 4G smartphones this year, as local telecom operators prepare to launch 4G network services.

“HTC is planning to offer consumers a variety of 4G-capable smartphones to retain its leadership in the home market,” HTC’s president for the Greater China region Jack Tong (董俊良) said at the product launches of the phone maker’s new 4G Long-Term Evolution (LET) One and Butterfly S smartphones.

The latest instalment of the company’s flagship One series will be available starting today and will carry the same NT$19,900 price tag as its 3G version. The new Butterfly S 4G LTE model is set to hit the market as early as Wednesday next week and retail at NT$20,900.

The Taoyuan-based company said it also has plans to launch tailor-made 4G handsets for the nation’s top three telecom carriers — Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) — for use in various frequency spectrums.

Tong said that after the rollout, HTC’s new 4G smartphones are forecast to account for more than 50 percent of the company’s total products.

When asked if the smartphone vendor would use Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek Inc’s (聯發科) chipset products — which cheaper than those made by Qualcomm Inc — to reduce manufacturing costs, Tong said: “HTC does not rule out any opportunity to adopt different technologies or collaborate with new partners.”

JPMorgan analyst Alvin Kwock (郭彥麟) said that HTC could increase its market share during the first half of the year if it manages to sell 100 million units of TD-LTE smartphones in China.

Citing the three low-end Desire series models that the company launched last month, Kwock said that HTC’s inclusion of processors made by Broadcom Corp, ST-Ericsson and Spreadtrum Communications Inc (展訊通信) in the three products “marked its attempt to make a comeback in the sector by making China its home market.”

However, HTC might not fare well for long, given the strong likelihood that rival Chinese vendors will launch competing 4G products in the second half of the year, Kwock said in a note to clients on Monday.

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