HTC Corp (宏達電) is expected to launch its flagship U12+ model early next month, in an effort to boost buying interest at a time when the loss-making firm faces escalating global competition, sources said yesterday.
The timing of the launch indicates that the company wants to avoid going head-to-head with rivals in the Android camp such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, Japan’s Sony Corp and China’s Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp (歐珀), whose new flagship models have been on sale for some time, the sources said.
The U12+ could be the only premium smartphone that the New Taipei City-based HTC launches this year, with such a strategy intended to extend the U12+ sales cycle, the sources added.
The U12+ is expected to be equipped with a 6-inch display, because many consumers prefer a large-sized phone to a smaller device, the sources said.
The U12+ is also expected to be powered by Qualcomm Inc’s advanced Snapdragon 845 processor and equipped with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, as well as a 3,420mAh battery.
The smartphone is also likely to be equipped with a dual 12 and 16-megapixel lens camera on the back with a dual 8-megapixel lens camera on the front, which would be good for taking selfies.
HTC is expected to equip the U12+ with “Edge Sense,” as seen in its predecessors, which allows users to simply squeeze the phone to activate features such as the camera, Facebook or other apps.
Amid stiff competition in both the high-end and mid-to-low range segments in the global smartphone market, HTC last week reported a loss for the fourth quarter of last year.
HTC said it posted a net loss of NT$9.8 billion (US$336.28 million) , marking the 11th consecutive quarter that the company has reported a loss. Its loss per share for the October-to-December period was NT$11.93.
Last year, HTC’s net losses totaled NT$16.91 billion, with losses per share of NT$20.58, the highest since the company listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in March 2002.
HTC has intensified its efforts to expand into the virtual-reality (VR) market by having a VR headset on the market since April 2016, but this accounts for only a small fraction of its sales and has had little effect on the company’s continued losses.
HTC shares yesterday fell 1.17 percent to close at NT$67.30 in Taipei trading as investors locked in earlier gains.
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