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HTC denies plan to launch under-US$100 phones
Central News Agency
2011-10-31 08:20 PM
Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) Taiwan's HTC Corp. rebutted local media reports Monday, saying the company has no plans to launch smartphones priced at under US$100 (NT$2,990). "We have no interest in launching any low-priced smartphones because we do not want to make low-quality products," HTC Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung told investors during a conference call. "We believe there will be a great opportunity during a shift from feature phones to smartphones," he said. "We will seize the opportunity in the process while insisting on product premium, and we will not compromise user experience with our HTC Sense software." Yung made the remarks after Oct. 21 local newspaper reports cited HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang as saying that HTC plans to introduce Android-powered models with a price tag of as low as US$100 in an effort to expand market share. Yung said the reports misconstrued Wang and that the phones HTC will use to penetrate the mass consumer market will be priced at between US$200 and US$250. Asked about the company's future growth drivers, Yung said HTC plans its long-term evolution (LTE) phones to ramp up from the first quarter of next year, as operators' subsidy budgets around the globe are expected to be allocated more to such high-margin products in the transition to 4G networks. Meanwhile, HTC has expanded its retail presence in China from 300 locations in the first quarter of 2011 to 1,300 in the third quarter, with the number expected to exceed 2,000 by the end of this year. China is one of the most important growth regions for HTC, where HTC reported top sales growth across all regions in the third quarter -- nine times more than its sales volume in the same period of last year. The company expects China to account for a double-digit percentage of its total revenue soon, up from the current single-digit figure, Yung said. In addition, HTC's new factory in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of next year, which is likely to increase capacity by up to 40 million units per year, Yung added. (By Jeffrey Wu)
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