Mobiles & Tablets

Smartphone-maker HTC to ramp up sales, service centres

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on September 30, 2014

Kolkata. Date: 27/09/2014.
Faisal Siddiqui, Vice President & Country Head of HTC.
Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty   -  BUSINESS lINE

Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC has had a good run in the country, with a steadily increasing market share.

And, by December 2015, it is aiming to double market share to 10 per cent, from the existing 5 per cent.

According to Faisal Siddiqui, Vice-President and Country Head, HTC will continue to ramp up both its distribution and service network apart from implementing its pricing strategy.

“Of course, we will increase both the point-of-sales and service centres,” he told BusinessLine.

New strategy

As a part of its strategy, the company will look to have 10,000 point-of-sales by end of this year (December), up by 3,000 from the existing 7,000.

According to market sources, the mid and high-level categories – priced between ₹10,000 and ₹40,000 – have been the strongest segment for HTC. And, 11 of HTC’s 12 handsets are in this range.

Maintaining that HTC will not have a “shot-gun approach” (a slew of offerings across single price-points), Siddiqui said it was a conscious decision to have a small portfolio. All the three recently-launched handsets are in this mid-range, while a few more are expected by end-December.

“We want to attack specific price points,” he reiterated maintaining that the company does not have immediate plans go below the sub ₹7,000 range, unless “it sees value”.

Budget handsets

Interestingly, as a strategic move, HTC is yet to jump on the low-cost Android phone manufacturing bandwagon, through Google’s Android One (having standardised hardware and software at budget pricing).

“Google has announced us as a partner in the Android One programme. But, we have not participated in it (in India) so far,” he said.

The company’s experience has shown that consumers don’t mind paying extra for a “good product” as long as there is value and user experiences are not compromised with. Good traction of its only entry level smart-phone priced at around ₹7,500 is proof of this theory, he maintained.

“If we don’t believe in something, we won’t go for it. We won’t be in a segment just for pricing sake,” Siddiqui said.

Windows OS

HTC, however, will stick to the Android OS and dual-SIM-based offerings.

Despite being the first company to have Windows offerings, the company does not have a single offering in the segment. The two models – “8X” and “8S” – were discontinued since last year.

While HTC is partnering Windows for its upcoming “M8” handset; no similar offerings have been planned in India. “We still partner Windows but as of now there are no immediate plans for a similar phone in India,” Siddiqui added.

Published on September 30, 2014

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