Taiwan's struggling HTC aims latest 'phablet' phone at China

Oct 15, 2013
People walk past High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) logos in Hsintien, Taipei on March 3, 2010

Struggling Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC launched its latest plus-sized handset in Beijing Tuesday, hoping to cash in on the fast growing Chinese market where users are demanding increasingly larger screens.

The "One Max", which boasts the widest display in the HTC family at 5.9-inches and a , is to be rolled out around the world from the middle of the month, the said.

The device—which sits in the so-called "phablet" category where handsets are larger than average smartphones but smaller than tablets—will not receive its Taiwan or Unites States launch until later this week, although reporters in Taipei were briefed on the new device Tuesday.

A company spokesman would not comment on reports that publication of the phone's specifictions was brought forward 24-hours following a media leak.

Analysts said it was in China where the Taiwanese manufacturer hoped the One Max would prove popular as it struggles against its more popular rivals Samsung and Apple.

"It is reasonable that HTC is now giving priority to China as it is expected to emerge as the most fast growing and biggest smartphone market in the world," a senior industry analyst told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He was mindful of a pledge by HTC chairwoman Cher Wang to take a 20 percent share of China's lucrative high-tier smartphone market by next year.

But the analyst predicted the amount of One Max handsets HTC is able to ship to China would not be high enough to significantly lift up the company's fortunes.

According to research firm IDC, sales of smartphones in China could grow 25 percent in 2014 to 450 million units from a forecast 360 million for 2013.

The phone's large screen is part of a trend across high-end smartphone manufacturers to offer larger devices as consumers increasingly rely on the phones in their pockets to surf the Internet and watch movies.

"We're introducing this supersized handset as users are changing their habits," an HTC official, told reporters in Taipei.

The pricing structure for the handsets will be announced later this week, he said.

The new product, operating on an Android 4.3 platform, will also come equipped with a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device, the first time HTC has offered such a device.

Last month Apple offered a similar scanner on the front of its top of the range iPhone.

The HTC scanner will allow users to unlock their screen as well as swiftly launch up to three applications using three different fingers.

"This fingerprint scanner will enable users to swiftly access the gadget while ensuring an improved security feature," the official said.

The move comes less than six months after its new flagship smartphone, the 4.7inch screen One was put on the market.

But the much-anticipated gadget has so far failed to come to the rescue of the company as it battles long terms rivals Apple and Samsung as well as China's emerging brandnames such as Huawei.

HTC swung to a net loss of Tw$2.97 billion ($101 million) in the three months to September, compared with a of Tw$3.9 billion a year ago. It made a net profit of Tw$1.25 billion in the second quarter.

The Taiwanese firm held a 4.6 percent share of the global smartphone market in 2012, sharply down from 8.8 percent a year earlier. Samsung held a 30.3 percent stake while Apple had 19.1 percent, according to research firm IDC.

As part of its efforts to boost sales, the company has planned a range of mid-tier smartphones later this year as analysts warn of waning demand for high-end gadgets.

Explore further: HTC offers larger phone, with fingerprint sensor

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taiwan's HTC reports record low net profit

Apr 08, 2013

Taiwan's smartphone maker HTC said Monday net profit slumped 98.1 percent in the three months to March compared to a year earlier, hitting a record low of Tw$85 million ($2.83 million).

Taiwan probes HTC staff over secrets theft

Aug 31, 2013

Taiwanese prosecutors are investigating allegations that three employees at leading smartphone maker HTC stole trade secrets to sell to Chinese firms, reports said Saturday.

Taiwan's HTC unveils new flagship smartphone

Mar 07, 2013

Taiwan's HTC unveiled a new flagship smartphone in its domestic market Thursday with revamped designs which analysts said may boost the company's sluggish sales against rivals Apple and Samsung.

Taiwan's HTC postpones flagship smartphone rollout

Mar 20, 2013

Taiwan's HTC has delayed shipments of its new flagship smartphone due to parts shortages, a report said on Wednesday, dealing a blow as it looks to lift sales and compete with the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy.

Recommended for you

A smart wristband for nocturnal cyclists

23 hours ago

Five EPFL PhD students have developed a wristband that flashes when the rider reaches out to indicate a turn. Their invention was recognized at a European competition.

Lenovo's smart glasses prototype has battery at neck

Jul 28, 2014

China's PC giant Lenovo last week offered a peek at its Google Glass-competing smart glass prototype, further details of which are to be announced in October. Lenovo's glasses prototype is not an extreme ...

Sapphire talk enlivens guesswork over iPhone 6

Jul 27, 2014

Sapphire screens for the next iPhone? Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness scratch-proof properties, used in making LEDs, missiles sensors, and on screens for luxury-tier phones. Last year, the ...

Startup offers elderly an Internet key to family links

Jul 27, 2014

Two grandmothers mystified by computer tablets have inspired a French-Romanian startup to develop an application and service to help the elderly stay in touch with their relatives through the Internet.

User comments : 0