HTC signs deal with Conexus

NEW HORIZONS::HTC’s CEO has declared this year its ‘Asian Year’ as the firm seeks to expand into new markets and seek growth outside of its Europe anchor market

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Sat, May 07, 2011 - Page 12

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 3 mobile phone maker by market value, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an Asian telecom operator to supply it with smartphones and tablets, paving the way for greater momentum in its Asian business.

Conexus Mobile Alliance will engage HTC to design smart devices for its 11 telecoms operator members that have a pool of 310 million subscribers in Asia, Edward Kwok (郭詠邦), Conexus Mobile Alliance chairman, told -reporters at a signing.

“We want to explore iconic devices to further enrich the mobile data experience for our subscribers,” he said. “This MOU will enhance our members’ current handset portfolios and enable them to take advantage of future technology imperatives.”

He declined to offer specifics on how many HTC phones alliance members are likely to purchase, but said HTC tablets and newer models running on the 4G Long Term Evolution standard could be part of the deals.

Established in 2006, Conexus has members spanning Far Eas-Tone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd (和記電訊國際), South Korea’s KT Corp, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, Indonesia’s PT Indosat, the Philippines’ Smart Communications Inc and Singapore’s StarHub Pte Ltd.

The alliance aims to be Asia’s leading mobile coalition with a focus on creating common platforms in international roaming, corporate services and value-added services.

One of the achievements it touts is the establishment of a daily data flat-rate plan of no more than US$20 for subscribers roaming within the member networks, according to Kwok, who doubles as a senior vice president at Hutchison Telecommunications.

HTC CEO Peter Chou (周永明) has declared this year its “Asian Year,” as the company seeks a source of growth outside of its anchor market in Europe.

HTC, which overtook Nokia Group early last month to become the third-largest global phone maker by market value, plans to increase the number of retail booths and outlets in China from 445 to 2,000 by December, Ray Yam (任偉光), who joined HTC in January as company’s head in China, told the China Daily last month.

HTC will team up with Chinese electronics chain stores, such as Suning Corp (蘇寧電器) and GOME Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd (國美電器), as well as smaller local electronic retailers in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

HTC — which only entered China in July last year — also plans to use the Internet to promote its cellphones and may set up an online store on (淘寶網), China’s biggest online retail Web site by transactions, in the second half, Yam said.

HTC yesterday said in a statement that revenue was NT$38.7 billion (US$1.3 billion) last month, up 113.41 percent year-on-year. Accumulated revenue from January to last month was NT$142.9 billion, up 154.7 percent from a year earlier.