HTC sets eyes on high-end smartphone market in India

HTC wants to have a 'fair share' of India's high-end mobile phone segment

(Image by flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns)

(Image by flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns)

NEW DELHI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwanese premium smartphone maker HTC wants to have a "fair share" of India's high-end mobile phone segment that is dominated by Samsung and Apple at present, reports Press Trust of India from Beijing.

"Our brand in India is a solid good. We have lot of things to improve upon," Chialin Chang, the President of smartphone and connected devices, HTC, said.

"The number one issue that we want to address in India is how do we get market share that we deserve in the very top end, Rs 50,000 and above," he said.

By premium brand, he means a brand which delivers as per its promise, good design, durability, security, user experience, services and continues to involve consumers with experience.

"We are lucky that young Indians like our design. I noticed this in the historical data," he said. As per a report released by CyberMedia Research in February, 97 percent of respondents mentioned Samsung, 85 percent Apple and 78 percent HTC as successful premium smartphone brands. "HTC's overall market share in the first quarter of 2017 was 0.26 per cent and in above Rs 50,000 price band 1.82 per cent," the report said.

Chang said that the company is not facing any problem in doing business in India as it is a very open market.

However, it is a challenge for the company to get the mindshare of premium phone buyers.

"I think as a whole India is a very open market. Just imagine it is flooded with all the Chinese brands. If India is not open how can you get that many Chinese brands in there. "The challenge for us is, I think, India's market will evolve. How we capture the premium in this market and create a halo in this environment would be quite important," Chang said.

He said that there has been issues in distribution with competitors offering more margins to channel partners.

"If you ask me personally, because of the flurry of competition, and channels requiring different margins and competition offering lot more, we see a tougher competitive environment. We recognize that. We actually have the same global pricing. It is all the mark up getting earned in that country that is why you see retail price difference," Chang said.

The company recently launched its new flagship smartphone HTC U11 which can be operated without pressing buttons.

HTC is selling this high-end model with 6GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage in Taiwan for NT$21,900 or Rs 47,000 a unit in India. However, HTC plans to sell the device in Europe for 750 euros or about Rs 54,000 a unit. The company is yet to decide the price for the Indian market.

Chang said that HTC has been doing good business in the Rs 20,000-25,000 price range segment. It plans to launch its new Desire series 4G VoLTE smartphones in the price band of Rs 10,000-30,000.