Smartphone brand HTC on Wednesday said that it was looking to enter the budget segment of smartphones of the country to ramp up its sales, even as its market share in the Indian smartphone market as it continues to face stiff competition from Indian and Chinese handset-makers.
“We are looking to broaden our price play horizons at both ends as India is becoming an increasingly important market for HTC. If HTC has to do good globally, India numbers have to be positive,” Chia-Lin Chang, president of global sales at HTC, told Hindustan Times at the sidelines of a launch event where it launched the mid-range One A9 and budget Desire 828 dual sim smartphones.
“We are looking to start from Rs.8,000 compared to our current starting price of Rs.10,000. We are hoping to gain 5% market share in the new category (Rs.8,000 to Rs,15,000) by the first half of the 2016,” he added.
According to market research firm GfK, HTC currently has less than 5% market share in the mid-range smartphone segment, and almost 4% in the overall smartphones category in India. HTC was confident of gaining 10% market share in the country earlier this year, but according to Chang, the company hasn’t met its target because it hasn’t had any budget phones till now.
“In India 65% of smartphones sold are below the Rs.10,000 price point. Till now, we didn’t participate in that market as our addressable market remained above Rs.10,000” Chang said. “If we can capture 2% of the budget phones sold in India, we will have a huge growth momentum in India taking our global revenues higher.”
Asked about the strategy taken to attract more consumers, Chang said that Indian consumers wanted phones that are good looking, have good performance, are easy to use, and are priced aggressively with new features.”We are going to try and see if we can offer the superior experience of HTC products at an aggressive price point along with unique features. We are here for the long run and want to build loyalty of the brand across all price segments,” Chang said alluding that HTC was not competing with the popular Chinese rivals like OnePlus and Xiaomi.
The company also revealed plans of expanding its after sales service network with an Indian partner which currently is less than a 100 stores. “We are also evaluating to talk to Optiemus which currently manufactures our phones in India with collaboration with Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron to provide its after sales network for our brand,” Chang said.