HTC plans to take a new approach to the smartphone space in hopes of boosting revenue. The company expects first-quarter revenue to be lower than earlier forecasts, and in response HTC is taking a good look at China.
More people live in China than anywhere else on the globe — which makes it a pretty big market. But smartphone customers in China tend to go for low-cost devices rather than high performance machines with higher price tags.
So while HTC has been promoting high-end phones in developed markets including the US and Europe for the past few years, the company is now talking about introducing inexpensive smartphones for the Chinese market.
They could sell for around $160 to $320 without a wireless carrier subsidy.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that HTC is pulling out of the superphone business entirely. The company is expected to introduce several high-end Android and Windows Phone models in the coming year. But if budget Chinese phones end up doing well for the company, we could see a shift in focus.
I picked up an HTC One X smartphone about half a year ago, and it’s a great piece of hardware (although I wouldn’t mind a user replaceable battery or a microSD card slot). HTC still knows how to make great hardware. But the company doesn’t have the marketing might of rivals Samsung or Apple.