HTC One ‘still world’s best handset’, EMEA head says

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Philip Blair claims sales of the handset are putting it on course to become the manufacturer’s bestselling handset in the UK

The HTC One handset is still the “best device in the world” today, despite a number of high-profile launches in the past week.

This is according to HTC EMEA head Philip Blair, who was talking to Mobile News on the day both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the BlackBerry Q10 went on sale.

Blair, who is also interim country manager for the UK following Phil Roberson’s exit in March, claimed sales of the HTC One are putting it on track to become the firm’s bestselling handset in the UK, although he refused to reveal sales figures.

He said: “It’s still early days. The numbers for the second half of Q2 will demonstrate if that’s the case, but the early indications suggest that, yes, that is absolutely the case. Everything we’ve shipped we’ve sold out of. When demand outstrips supply its obviously very difficult to understand what that natural run rate and demand is, but all the indications – and share of our partners’ sales – show this is going to be big.

“The industry is all about competition and our competitors, I’m sure, will be looking at the HTC One knowing they need to roll up their sleeves.”

He continued: “The consumer perception at the moment is the best phone in the world is the Samsung Galaxy S III. That was, from our perspective, based on the sheer weight of the marketing attributed to it.

“But the HTC One is the HTC Desire of 2013 and it’s head and shoulders above anything out there. We have a competitive advantage over our rivals and can challenge with the biggest and best.”

Tough times

Blair acknowledged the past 12 months have been “tough” for the manufacturer, illustrated most starkly by its Q1 financial results, which saw profits plummet by 91 per cent. Matters worsened after the HTC One device launch was delayed.

But Blair maintains HTC remains in a “strong” position and has a competitive advantage over its rivals when it comes to technology and handset design.

He also pointed to its reputation with some of the biggest software companies on the planet, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft which have each selected HTC as their launch partner in previous years and months.

Blair said: “We are a strong, resolute company which is very product-driven. You only have to look at our recent history to demonstrate that.

“When Microsoft wanted to build a phone, they came to us. When Google wanted to build a phone they came to us. And when Facebook wanted to build a phone they came to us.

“In terms of our size and the competition out there, to be able to make and launch a phone which is better than anything else is an incredible achievement.”

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