Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 12 News List

HTC cuts prices, launches latest premium phone

‘MAYDAY’:The company declined to offer a sales forecast for this quarter, but announced it would nearly halve the price of one of its models to increase sales

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

HTC Corp president of smartphone and connected devices business Chang Chia-lin, second left, joins other company personnel at the launch of the company’s new flagship U11+ smartphone in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday launched its new flagship U11+ smartphone as it lowered prices for other U-series handsets, in hopes the strategy could boost sales in the remainder of this year.

HTC president of smartphone and connected devices business Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) said after the product launch that the company has very high expectations of the U11+, the company’s second flagship smartphone this year.

The handset, which boasts an 18:9 aspect ratio display and runs on Qualcomm Inc’s 835 Snapdragon processor, sells for NT$19,900 (US$659.25) in Taiwan.

The phone is to hit markets in Hong Kong and China on Saturday next week, and will be available in Europe, the US and the Middle East by the end of this month, Chang said.

Chang declined to offer sales forecasts or a business outlook for this quarter.

However, HTC has decided to cut the price of the U11 to NT$17,900, from NT$19,900, and of the U Ultra to NT$9,900 from NT$18,900, a move that Darren Chen (陳柏諭), a newly appointed general manager for the Taiwanese market, said could lend support to the company’s local sales this quarter.

Chang said HTC is to follow a similar strategy next year by introducing only five to six smartphones worldwide, including three high-end models and two to three moderately priced phones.

The company will not launch entry-level phones, as the margins are too low, he added.

HTC has not yet reported its audited earnings for last quarter.

In the first half of the year, the company reported net losses of NT$3.98 billion, or a NT$4.85 loss per share.

Revenue in the first three quarters plummeted 17.06 percent annually to NT$46.37 billion, company data showed.

Meanwhile, HTC announced it is rehiring Taiwanese rock band Mayday (五月天) as its regional brand ambassador to boost its smartphone sales in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Mayday served as the company’s regional brand ambassador between 2013 and 2015.

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