Following its poor fourth quarter results, HTC has now decided to skip entry-level smartphones and stream down to only high-end and mid-range devices in future. The news comes from a report by Phonescoop, which claims that HTC will focus more on high-margin smartphones. However, the entry-level smartphones which are currently in the market will get the support. HTC is said to have revealed the new product portfolio strategy in a conference call with media while discussing its rather miserable financial results for last year. Meanwhile, the company will not dump the HTC Vive development and is expected to go as per plan, in that department.
The report also highlights the previous rumour that the Taiwanese giant will only launch six-seven smartphones this year. The major reason which HTC attributed for this decision was high competition in the budget segment. Chinese players like Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo have recently been undisputed in the budget segment for a pretty long time now. On the other hand, HTC has been struggling a lot to keep its devices priced aggressively but has failed often in the process. This is in line with the latest IDC report which revealed that Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo were amongst the top 5 smartphone manufacturers in India for Q4 2016.
So what does this mean for the Indian smartphone market? Based on the report, we expect future HTC phones to be priced higher in search of higher margin. Further, we are surely not going to see an HTC smartphone priced under Rs 15,000 anytime soon. Well, this might help HTC save some bucks but on the cost side, it surely has to cope up with the growing competition in the flagship segment to stand a chance. A very good example of this is HTC’s last year flagship HTC 10. The device came with an extremely solid design with decent specifications but struggled with the price, especially in India.
Up till now, HTC has released two smartphones, HTC U Ultra and U Play in 2017. Both these phones come with a new design and objective and are company’s next attempt to gain back its reputation which it gained from the HTC One M7 back in 2013. Interestingly, just before HTC launched the One M7, the company followed a similar strategy of cutting down the number of phones for the year. It paid off then with the One M7, let’s see if HTC can manage to bring a device that can disrupt a smartphone market which is way tighter than it was in 2013.