HTC looks to cheaper handsets to reverse sales slump

HTC look to cheaper handsets to reverse sales slump
Aim high, swing low

With the HTC M8 launch just around the corner it might seem a little odd that HTC is currently talking about targeting the middle ground rather than the premium end of the market.

Driven by two years of poor sales and a corresponding 80% share price drop the Taiwenese firm has said that it will look towards its cheaper range, currently toting the HTC Desire 300 and Desire 500, as a way of combating the heavy decline.

Speaking to Reuters in New York HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang stated that she believes the problem was that "we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market".

Looking lower

This means that HTC will look to releasing handsets around $150 to $300 (around £90 to £180, AU$168 to AU$335) putting them up against the likes of the impressive Moto G, although avoiding the "very, very low-end market".

According to Richard Ko of Taipei based analyst firm KGI Securities a move to more affordable handsets is needed as "low-price and high-spec" is a "trend for this year". A quad-core budget HTC Desire 310 would certainly fit that bill.

Lower price points would allow HTC to target both the established smartphone markets dominated by Samsung and Apple handsets, as well as emerging markets where Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE are making waves.

A need to take on the marketing might of Apple and Samsung has also been highlighted as rave reviews of the HTC One (including our own five-stars) didn't translate into strong sales. Not even Iron Man could help despite being backed up by sharp suits and hipster trolls.

Back to basics?

When it comes to producing cheaper handsets HTC certainly has the know how having made its name as a manufacturer of network branded handsets, although that isn't an area that HTC plans to return to in its effort to boost sales.

"We're not even considering that," Wang confirmed - stating that manufacturing partnerships must include HTC branding alongside those of mobile carriers.

2014 is certainly shaping up to be an important year for HTC with the invitations to the HTC M8 launch event due to be sent out in about two weeks sitting alongside a fight to stave off a third straight quarter of operating losses.

Via Reuters.