HTC eyes 3rd largest smartphone vendor title in Taiwan

2018/03/10 17:36:25 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
HTC eyes 3rd largest smartphone vendor title in Taiwan

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. has set itself a goal of becoming the third largest vendor in the local market in the first half of this year.

Darren Chen (陳柏諭), head of HTC Taiwan, said the company will launch models in high-end and mid-to-low range segments to target as many consumers in Taiwan as possible and is looking to become the third largest brand by the end of June, up from 4th in 2017.

According to a recent market research report, Apple Inc., the U.S. consumer electronics giant, was the largest smartphone vendor in Taiwan, taking a 22.95 percent share of total sales, followed by South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. with a 20.68 percent share.

Taiwan's PC brand Asustek Computer Inc., which has sought to diversify its product portfolio by adding smartphones, came third with 12.7 percent, ahead of HTC with 9.09 percent, China's OPPO with 8.8 percent and Japan's Sony Corp. with 8.25 percent.

Chen admitted Apple, which is expected to launch new iPhones later this year after the latest iPhone 8 and the signature iPhone X, and Samsung, which just started selling its Galaxy S9 in Taiwan, dominate the local smartphone market.

Nevertheless, Chen said HTC sees room for the company to make progress, vowing to move into third place by the end of the first half of the year.

Chen said HTC is planning to launch five to six new models covering a wide range of pricing, but the company will not price its flagship products very high, making them more affordable.

The premium iPhone X, Apple unveiled in September 2017, carries a price tag starting from NT$35,900 (US$1,225), while Samsung's high-end Galaxy S9+ 246GB has been priced at NT$31,900, the highest in the Android camp.

By taking into account the subsidies provided by telecom operators in subscription contracts in Taiwan, Chen said smartphone models priced at NT$10,000-NT$15,000 will become the mainstream in the local smartphone market.

To boost its visibility in the greater China market, HTC has signed rock band Mayday as its regional brand ambassador by launching a music video as a TV commercial.

HTC has faced escalating competition at home and abroad, with its sales in February falling to NT$2.61 billion (US$89.09million), down 23.24 percent from a month earlier and also down 44.04 percent year-on-year.

The February figure was the lowest monthly figure for HTC since August 2004, when it recorded NT$2.05 billion in consolidated sales, company data showed.

While HTC has made an effort to establish itself in the field of virtual reality by unveiling its first VR headset, the Vive in 2015 and follow-up models since then, the VR division only accounts for a small fraction of sales and has so far failed to provide a significant boost to profitability.

Amid strong competition in the smartphone market, HCT posted a loss per share of NT$3.80, the 10th straight quarter in which it has posted a net loss, in the third quarter of last year.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

Share on Facebook  Share on twitter  Share by email  Share on Google+