New Android handset for the masses
Taiwanese maker HTC is poised to unveil a new low-end Android phone in a what appears to be strategical U-turn by CEO Peter Chou. According to US website theverge.com, which has published renders of the handset codenamed ‘Proto’, the struggling manufacturer may introduce the new device at IFA in Berlin next week [September 2012]. Investors in HTC, who have seen the value of their shares plunge to a new low, have long urged the company to venture more deeply into low-end brands.It’s a call that has so far been resisted by Chou who has argued that to do so would “destroy” HTC’s premium brand image.
But with HTC One series proving a flop and with Apple and Samsung dominating the top end, it could be that Chou has had a serious rethink.
It’s claimed the new device will follow in the footsteps of the One V but with a markedly different design and 4-inch display.
Its spec also includes a polycarbonate shell, 5 megapix camera, and a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor.
Since its launch of its One series at last February’s Mobile World Congress, HTC has been notably quiet on the announcement front.
But rumours have also been speculating that it is about to slash prices of its handsets across the board – something that would help it to strengthen its foothold in emerging markets such as China and India, as would the introduction of a low-end phone.
Analysts IDC meanwhile says HTC’s share of the global smartphone market, having peaked in the second quarter of 2011 at 10.7 per cent, now stands at just 2.2 per cent.
Though the company was the first to make handsets powered by Google’s Android OS two years ago, it has struggled to compete with the marketing muscle of Apple and Samsung with the consequent plunge in sales wiping more than a $1 billion off its value.