Mobile, News HTC Focuses on Affordable Smartphones

Last week, HTC revealed that it is planning to launch a wearable device this year. That probably wouldn’t have helped reverse the struggling Taiwanese firm’s fortune — but with a little more realism, the company now says it is focused on developing a compelling range of cheaper smartphones to revive its struggling business.

“The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market,” HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang told Reuters.

That blinkered approach, and the fact that much-praised high-end devices like the HTC One didn’t shift in huge quantities, have seen HTC fall. IDC reports that its global market share was just two percent of all shipments, while revenue from sales was down year-on-year for every month in 2013.

The scatter-gun approach of releasing numerous devices at different price points has proven particularly effective for Samsung — the world’s top smartphone-maker based on market share — although margins are lower, making revenue-generation as challenge.

Reuters notes that just two of the 53 devices that HTC sells in China are priced below $150, which is the category with the most growth in the country. Just releasing devices into the crowded market doesn’t guarantee success, and HTC will need to get its creative juices flowing to market its phones, not to mention balance price and quality.

By Jon Russell

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