HTC targets smartphone market

08:17, July 27, 2010      

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HTC Corp, a smartphone- and PC-maker based in Taiwan, is poised for growth in the mainland as its products are expected to gain more ground due to a strong distribution channels, brand positioning and premium products, said Peter Chou, its chief executive officer and president.

"We believe the mainland is a good market for smartphones. This year is the year for us to develop brand recognition among Chinese users," he told China Daily in an interview on Monday.

Four new smart phones will be launched in the mainland market on Tuesday. Currently the mainland accounts for less than 5 percent of HTC's market share of phones shipped. In terms of brand recognition among Chinese smartphone users, Chou said the HTC brand is in the No 2 spot, behind Nokia.

He added that HTC is open to all forms of alliances, partnerships or joint ventures with its existing partners, potential channel retailers, and regional retail players.

"We're not short-sighted. We believe in the long-term. We will leverage on our existing partners' strength. We will take this opportunity to capture more market share in the mainland," he said. HTC's partners in the mainland include China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

"HTC is a unique leader in the smartphone segment. Because our phones are made from innovation, premium design and provide unique user experiences, we will stand out in the market," he said.

Chou projects that in the second half of the year HTC will see positive growth, stemming from its successful product portfolio, increased global market activity and strong brand recognition.

Last year, HTC shipped 12 million phones globally. North America accounts for 50 percent of its market share, Europe with 30 percent and 20 percent for the rest of the world.

Brand recognition had been an issue for HTC. Sales of its smartphones initially struggled against those from more-established rivals.

According to research firm IDC, HTC ranks behind Nokia Corp, Blackberry maker Research in Motion Ltd and iPhone maker Apple Inc in worldwide smartphone shipments in 2009.

Smartphones sales grew 15 percent globally last year, IDC said. It was one of the few growing sectors in the technology industry amid the economic downturn.

In 2009, HTC began to position its brand through a simple slogan "Quietly Brilliant", which translates to doing great things in a humble way with the belief that the best things in life can only be experienced, not explained. In 2008, HTC acquired a lifestyle industrial design firm, One & Co, continuing the company's commitment to innovation and design.

Source: China Daily


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