HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou has reaffirmed the company's commitment to focus on higher-end devices in 2012, saying it wouldn't "destroy" its brand image by releasing "cheap, cheap phones" in order to increase product shipments. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the HTC boss added, "We insist on using better materials to make better products that offer premium experience. Many consumers like that."
In the past six months, HTC has refocused its efforts on "hero" products at every level, including the HTC One series at the high end, and phones like the Droid Incredible 4G LTE in the mid-range market. So it's important to recognize what Peter Chou is referring to when he talks about "cheap, cheap phones." Devices like the recently-launched Desire C and One V may be low-end and inexpensive by Western standards, but there's a whole other ecosystem of super low-end phones coming to market in China and developing countries. In China, HTC offers phones around the 2000 yuan level, while the likes of Motorola are pushing for even cheaper 1000 yuan devices. At this price point, Chou says, "we won't have good products."
Whatever the case, this more or less confirms that HTC doesn't intend to release phones that are any cheaper than current budget offerings like the Desire C, and that design and build quality remain priorities for the manufacturer (though that's long been clear to anyone who's used HTC's phones.) In the fiercely competitive smartphone market of 2012, HTC will be hoping its focus on mid-level and above devices will set it apart from its competition.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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