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HTC eyes top three ranking in India
Central News Agency
2014-05-06 09:29 PM
Taipei, May 6 (CNA) HTC Corp. expressed hope Tuesday of being ranked among the top three smartphone makers in the fast-growing Indian market, where mid-range and low-end models account for the majority of the South Asian country's overall phone sales. "India is one of HTC's key markets and HTC's brand has had pretty high attractiveness (to consumers) there," HTC Chief Financial Officer Chang Chia-lin told a press briefing after a company earnings conference call. The Taiwanese phone maker currently accounts for about 4 percent to 5 percent of India's smartphone market and was once ranked as the fourth-biggest player in the country, Chang said. He expressed optimism about HTC's sales growth in India this year, adding that the company has set a long-term target of becoming one of the top three smartphone suppliers for India. In late April, HTC announced three smartphones for the India market that range from high-end to entry-level models, including the Desire 210 that costs only 8,700 rupees (US$145), which is the company's first foray into the sub-10,000 rupee phone market there. According to data from market research firms, high-end smartphones make up only 7 percent of India's overall phone sales, while sub-US$160 smartphones account for about 70 percent of the overall volume. Research firm Strategy Analytics said India has become the world's third-largest smartphone market since the middle of 2013, behind only China and the United States, making the South Asian country more attractive to many handset manufacturers amid slowing smartphone sales in developed markets. In the fourth quarter of last year, Samsung Electronics Co. took a dominant 43 percent share of the Indian smartphone market and remained the largest player, followed by Sony Mobile with 9.1 percent and Apple Inc. with 7.0 percent, according to estimates by tech-tracking firm IDC. Asked about HTC's operations in China, Chang said the company has established more than 3,000 retail stores in China and will focus on improving the quality of its distribution network rather than boosting the number of retail outlets. He cited research data as saying that HTC now accounts for 5 percent of China's smartphone sales value to rank fifth in the world's largest smartphone market. (By Esme Jiang and Jeffrey Wu)
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