Taiwan's economic affairs ministry says HTC should focus on mid to low-range phones
A division of Taiwan's economic affairs ministry says that despite the problems that HTC is having in the low to mid-range area of the smartphone market, that is exactly the segment of the market that HTC should be aiming for. In a report released on Tuesday, the agency said that markets were saturated with high-end phones in the second half of this year. Thus, HTC's top-shelf models like the HTC One mini, HTC One max and HTC Butterfly S could not do well, leading to losses for the manufacturer in the third quarter. The report said that to lift market share in this time frame, HTC had to push out its HTC Desire model handsets.
One one hand, moving away from the upper crust of the smartphone world would mean avoiding those penthouse dwellers like the Apple iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG G2. On the other hand, it would mean having to compete with Nokia's low-end stud, the Nokia Lumia 520/Nokia Lumia 521.
Nomura Securities analyst Peter Liao, stationed in Taipei, says that if HTC were to ramp up production of Desire-like models that sell for under $300, it could score some growth in developing countries like China. In that case, Liao says that the ministry's report makes sense. Another smartphone analyst in Taipei, the appropriately named Johnny Yen (we don't make this stuff up guys!) says that sales of the HTC Desire would go up in developing countries if HTC could get some support from the carriers in the region.
The economic affairs ministry report mirrors one released in August from Taiwan’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center, that said that Taiwan was better served if HTC would drop the focus on high-end models and concentrate on the low to mid-range handsets.