HTC targeting 10pc market share by year end

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During an exclusive interview with the manufacturer, EMEA president Philip Blair said HTC is “here to stay”

HTC has said it will grow its UK market share from three per cent to at least 10 per cent by the end of this year.

This would see it overtake Nokia, which currently has six per cent of the UK market.

HTC said the goal was “achievable” as it has seen considerable success with the HTC One and will release its successor in the coming months (though not at Mobile World Congress later this month).

The sales boost it received in the UK from the HTC One will become obvious in the second quarter (April to June), HTC EMEA president Phil Blair said.

Vice president of the UK, Nordic and partner markets Peter Frølund said: “Our market share is not where we would like it to be. We would like it to be two digits by the of 2014. We will be targeting the lower two digit figures.

Blair said: “That is an achievable target and we are achieving close to that right now and in several markets (Germany, Russia). We have markets where we are above that – in the Ukraine we have 16 per cent market share, for example.

“That goes to show we can do it. It is certainly not insurmountable. There is a combination of reasons why Ukraine is successful. Partners support us, we have the team and resources, infrastructure – that has lined up and I think you will see that happen in the UK soon.

“I think the best barometer for that success will be Q2 (April – June). The reason I say that is we are continuing to sell lots of the HTC One, and we have got our next flagship coming up.

“The losses that we reported in Q4 were very modest, we’re a very lean and fast acting organisation so we are confident that we are here to stay.”

Wider portfolio

Frølund confirmed HTC will focus on mid-range handsets, or those which cost around £30 per month, this year.

While he declined to say how many devices will be released this year, Frølund said the mid-range handsets will build on the success of its Desire 500 smartphone (announced August 2013).

“If you look at the Desire 500, it is a good phone – it has a quad core processor which is rare at that price point.

“It is great that there is lots of focus on the HTC One, but one aim for HTC is to make sure you know about the Desire and our mid-range offering.

“Premium contracts cost between £30-£42 so we will target the £30 mark and below. That’s where there is definitely opportunity for us.

“The mid range market is a market of interest for us. We are less interested in the super low tier. Because even though we need to reach certain price points, the quality of the handset needs to be there.”

Blair said HTC will launch its flagship, high-end device first (likely in April) before rolling out a series of lower end devices based on its design and specifications.

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