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HTC sets its sights on mid-range market as losses mount

Firm will focus on $150-$300 smartphones
Mon Feb 10 2014, 11:47
HTC One Max has an aluminum casing and removable backplate

TAIWANESE PHONE MAKER HTC posted its lowest revenues since 2007 on Monday as the firm's losses continued to mount, but the firm plans to focus on cheaper smartphones to turn its faltering fortunes around.

HTC reported on Monday that revenues for the fourth quarter were NT$42.9bn, or $1.4bn, compared NT$60bn, or nearly $2bn, in the prior year quarter, a slump of almost 28 percent. It seems that worse financial news is yet to come for the company too, with HTC forecasting that first quarter 2014 revenues will fall to between NT$34bn to NT$36bn from NT$42.8 billion a year earlier.

HTC CEO Peter Chou said that in order to turn its fortunes around the firm will refocus on the mid-range smartphone market, as well as building the "best smartphone", likely a nod at the rumoured HTC One sequel.

Chou said, "We will continue to stay focused on making the best smartphone and building a compelling mid-range portfolio. Meanwhile, we are going to communicate better with consumers."

In an interview with Reuters, HTC co-founder Cher Wang revealed more details about the company's upcoming mid-range plans, saying that the firm will focus on releasing smartphones priced between $150 and $300.

Wang said, "The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market."

This could be a smart move for HTC, with IDC having recently reported that the phones around the $150 price point are those showing the most growth. There's speculation that HTC's first cheap-ish smartphone could arrive as a sequel to the HTC One Mini, which is likely to debut along with the rumoured HTC One+ in March. µ


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