HTC looks to spur competition in UK between US distribution giants Brightstar and Brightpoint
Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has handed Brightstar Europe a UK handset supply deal as it seeks to increase competition within its UK channels.
Distributor sources said last week Brightstar is already taking large volumes of HTC stock, claiming to have struggled to secure devices from the manufacturer as it prioritised Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U and network operators over distribution.
HTC has seen huge growth in UK sales in 2010, with it shipping around 200,000 units into all UK channels each month, from closer to 50,000 at the turn of the year, sources claimed.
Its Android-based series has scored well, and its new Windows Phone 7 devices have been well-received. But sources said HTC has restricted channel supply to cater to demand from retail.
Brightstar Europe now holds supply deals with tier-one manufacturers Samsung, Research in Motion (RIM) and HTC in the UK. Local rivals only hold two major handset contracts each: 20:20 Mobile with Nokia and RIM, Data Select with Nokia and Samsung, and Brightpoint with RIM and HTC. Brightstar, 20:20 Mobile and Data Select all work with Motorola and LG.
Brightstar Europe president Rod Millar (pictured) said: “This is a major win. HTC has gathered considerable momentum. Our mix of customers, including specialist dealers, major retailers and more than 10,000 IT resellers give us an ideal route for the HTC range.”
HTC UK executive director Jon French said: “I can confirm we will be bringing on Brightstar as a second distributor in the UK.”
Brightpoint GB managing director Hugh Roper said: “Brightpoint is excited by HTC’s growth and investment in the UK. We look forward to a competitive and growing environment next year. Our partners remain at the heart of our differentiated approach, and we will continue to invest in initiatives that will grow our businesses together.”