Wed, Dec 03, 2014 - Page 13 News List

HTC hints at 4G smartphone release

TOP SPOT:A HTC official said that the firm is eyeing both the low-tier and high-tier markets to maximize sales volume and retain its position as domestic market leader

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

HTC Corp (宏達電) plans to release its first entry-level 4G smartphone in Taiwan next year in an effort to safeguard the company’s position in its home market, a company executive said yesterday.

HTC previously did not target the low-end smartphone market, but it predicts that mid and low-tier smartphones would be the market trend next year.

The company would not be absent from the low-priced market, HTC North Asia president Jack Tong (董俊良) told reporters on the sidelines of an HTC Re action camera product launch event.

Tong said HTC recently launched its first 3G low-end smartphone, the Desire 620G priced at NT$4,990 (US$160), in Taiwan because demand for 3G smartphones still exists, but added that the company also expects the 3G smartphone demand to gradually fade out in the first-quarter of next year.

“We foresee that low-end 3G smartphone demand will be replaced by low-tier 4G smartphones, so we have to be ready to follow the market trend,” Tong said, but he refused to confirm that HTC would launch its first low-priced 4G product early next year.

“We did not have a smartphone priced below NT$5,000 before, but a low-tier smartphone will help to boost HTC’s total sales volume,” Tong said.

However, HTC would not give up its high-end smartphones, such as its HTC One and HTC Butterfly series, Tong said, adding that such tier-one products contribute significantly to gross margin.

Tong said given that the overall performance of HTC’s mid-priced smartphones this year is very good, the company would continue to promote this segment next year.

Tong said Apple Inc’s new iPhone 6 series did not affect HTC’s sales performance this quarter, adding that the company’s sales volume is better than last quarter.

Tong dismissed International Data Corp’s claim that HTC’s No. 1 market share position in Taiwan last quarter has been taken by Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩) mid-priced Zenfone series.

Tong said according to market information advisory firm GfK, HTC’s smartphones still hold the largest share of the domestic market.

Commenting on the company’s first action camera, the HTC Re, Tong said the product, which weighs only 66.5g, features a sensor that automatically activates the device whenever it is picked up, eliminating the need to touch a power button.

Tong said the HTC Re camera would be available for purchase during the annual IT Month information technology exhibition at a discounted price of NT$4,990.

Separately, the company posted revenues of NT$16.93 billion for last month, up 9.43 percent from last year’s NT$15.47 billion and up 7.79 percent from the previous month’s NT$15.75 billion.

In the first 11 months this year, revenue totaled NT$172.72 billion, down 9.55 percent from a year earlier, according to HTC’s latest filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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