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HTC Pins Profitability Hopes on Low-Cost Handsets

In the never-ending smartphone war, HTC has been struggling against the likes of Apple and Samsung. According to the latest research, HTC’s share of the global smartphone market has dropped to 2.6%. Because of this, HTC has announced that they would be shifting focus to low end, more affordable phones in order to regain the company’s profitability. This is in contrast to the HTC strategy in 2012, which was to focus of the mid and high-end mobile markets. Back in 2012, CEO Peter Chou announced that they would not produce “cheap, cheap phones” and sacrifice the quality of their products.

More recently however HTC’s Chairwoman, Cher Wans claimed they missed a large portion of their mid-tier market by only focusing on their high-end market. She went on to talk about their plan to release more affordable products in the price range of $150-$300 alongside their $600 priced handsets. The company hopes that this strategy will help them recover. Back in October 2013, HTC reported a quarterly loss of around $102 million and just barely avoided a consecutive loss in its last quarter last year.

Although it hasn’t officially been showcased, many leaks surrounding the HTC M8 mini show that this will be HTC’s first mid-tier product to kick-off their new plan. The handset will be priced in the $150-$300 range, and includes many features such as 13 MP camera at the back, a 5 MP camera at the front, WiFi, Bluetooth, 1GB RAM, 16 GB memory, 1.4 GHz quad-core, and HTC’s new Sense 6.0 UI on Android’s latest OS KitKat.

HTC is now looking to China as its main target market. In 2011, HTC focused its efforts of the US, which paid of at first, but was later pushed out by Apple and Samsung. Although most mobile sales in China are in the $150-$300 price range, HTC currently only has 2 mobile phones selling in China in that range. Many other companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, and ZTE all offer low to mid-end phones in China. Even the bigger companies such as Samsung and Nokia market have devices in that price range. Just last year, Apple broke into the mid-end market with the iPhone 5C. HTC faces a very tough challenge in competing with all these other companies, but they’re hoping with this strategy that they’ll pull through.

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Category: Gadget, Mobile Telephones, Technology