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HTC's mid-ranges martphones to hit local stores in May

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Aiming at the mid-range smartphone market in Taiwan, HTC Corp. (宏達電) on Wednesday announced launch dates for two new flagship Desire phones — the 4G-compatible HTC Desire 816 and 610.

Teaming up with Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信), Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大), Far EasTone Telecom (遠傳電信), VIBO Telecom Inc. (威寶電信) and Asia Pacific Telecom (亞太電信), HTC yesterday unveiled a product launch in Taipei for its HTC Desire 816 and 610, catering to Taiwan's female and younger customers.

According to the Central News Agency (CNA), the Desire 816 will be available in Taiwan from early May, priced at NT$9,990 (US$330), while the Desire 610 will go on sale at around the same time, with a price tag of NT$7,990.

Jack Tong (董俊良), president of HTC North Asia, yesterday said at a local media briefing that the two phones target females and younger people in Taiwan, who account for about 66 percent of the country's total consumers.

The Desire 816, touted by HTC as a “high performance-to-cost” product, is expected to account for up to 40 percent of Taiwan's overall mid-range phone sales — devices priced between NT$8,000 and NT$14,000 — this year, Tong said.

Tong told CNA that he is convinced the Desire 816 will help grow the pie of Taiwan's smartphone mid-range market, vis-à-vis overall smartphone market on home turf, to over 10 percent from the current 6-8 percent.

M8 Supply Peaks in May

Regarding flagship premium and mid-tier HTC One M8, Tong expressed hope that the M8 could break the company's record monthly market share of 9 percent for a single smartphone in Taiwan when the supply of the phone peaks in May.

As for the high expectations on premium and mid-tier smartphones, Tong predicted that HTC smartphones priced at over NT$10,000 will account for up to 70 percent of the company's total shipments in Taiwan this year.

HTC posted loses in both quarters of the second half of 2013. For 2014, it expects a net loss of NT$2. 1 to NT$2. 6 per share in the first quarter.

The Desire 816 and 610 made their debuts at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year.

The 5.5-inch Desire 816 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.6GHz processor, features a 13-megapixel rear camera and offers a wide range of 4G LTE connectivity, including the 700 MHz frequency.

The lower-end Desire 610 is a 4.7-inch smartphone equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and full 4G LTE connectivity support.

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Jack Tong (董俊良), president of HTC North Asia, holds up his company's new mid-market flagship Desire 816 for photographs after a news briefing, yesterday. Local media reported that the Desire 816 will be available in Taiwan from early May, priced at NT$9,990, while the Desire 610 will go on sale at around the same time, with a price tag of NT$7,990. (CNA)

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