HTC To Launch First Fitness Band In Jan 2016, Wants 15 Per Cent Phone Share In India
Remember HTC Grip? No. It’s not your fault. In March this year HTC announced the Grip , a slick looking fitness tracker but the company never shipped it. The launch of the product was later delayed until 2016. But now we know that HTC’s first wearable device it could be the Grip or something entirely different is coming in January.
“In January you will hear the news… (for wearable devices) we will have different concept (and take), stay tuned,” Chia-Lin Chang, HTC’s CFO and president of global sales told IndiaToday.In at a media briefing in New Delhi.
“As soon as we do the global announcement we will quickly bring it to India,” added Chang. The senior HTC executive repeatedly highlighted that India was among the most important markets for the company.
“In India, we will have our most complete product portfolio in the coming days… we are even bringing the Butterfly back to the country,” he said, hinting at the impending launch of a new HTC Butterfly phone here.
HTC, which in many ways pioneered concepts like premium audio in smartphones, design with metal body and focus on the fit and finish of the phone, has seen its fortune dwindle in the last few years. Chang admitted that while the company has great products, the brand doesn’t resonate well enough with the consumers.
“We are hoping to improve the network of touch points, the experience centre for HTC devices across the world. We are also hoping to tell consumers that experience and the features matter more than the hardware specifications,” he said.
The network part is something that the company’s India head Faisal Siddique is taking very seriously. “Around 3 years ago, HTC had a network of just 2500 retailers. Now there are over 18,000 retailers associated with the company,” said Siddique. “But that is not enough. We currently have around 30 HTC exclusive service centres. We want to increase this number to 100 as soon as possible, covering at least 1000 cities in India.”
Siddique said the efforts the company has put in India have started to give results. He said that the average selling price for HTC phones is up in India this year compared to last year and in terms of volume there is a triple digit growth.
While the growth numbers look impressive, HTC has low volume so overall impact on the market or HTC’s market share is not much.
The company says that it currently has a market share of around 4 per cent. “However, most phones in India are sold in the sub-Rs 10,000 market and that is one place we do not yet focus all that well. In the segments where higher-priced phones are sold we have a better market share,” said Siddique.
For 2016, the company has big plans in India. The biggest and boldest of these is to increase the market share to 15 of the total market. “We won’t make Rs 5,000 phone but we are going to be much more aggressive with the prices. For example, we are sure that the prices for the One A9 and Desire 828 are going to surprise a lot of people,” said Siddique.