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HTC Butterfly 2 comes to Taiwan & other Asian markets next month

TAIPEI--Looking for new drivers of growth, Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電) unveiled the newest member of its popular Butterfly family on Tuesday and said it will go on sale in Taiwan and other Asian markets next month.

Launched at a press conference in Tokyo, the HTC Butterfly 2 will be available in Taiwan beginning on Sept. 2 through Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電信) and will also be sold through major wireless carriers and retailers in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, HTC said in a statement.

It did not reveal the phone's expected retail price.

The Butterfly 2 is essentially the same device as the HTC J Butterfly HTL23, a tailor-made handset unveiled on July 31 by Japanese carrier KDDI Corp., but it weighs less and supports 4G LTE frequency bands outside Japan.

The Butterfly 2 comes equipped with a "Duo" 13-megapixel camera that features a dual flash and 1080p full-HD video recording. A 5- egapixel front-facing camera allows users to take beautiful selfies with ease, according to HTC.

"The HTC Butterfly 2 follows HTC's iconic design and globally acclaimed user experience," HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou (周永明) said in the statement. "Its elegant appearance and fantastic performance will certainly provide consumers with the best experience ever."

Despite the new phone's launch, HTC is faced with rising competition not only in the high-end model segment but also in the lower-cost tier, according to market analysts.

The Taoyuan-based manufacturer posted consolidated sales of NT$10.6 billion (US$353 million) in July, down 51.6 percent from a month earlier and also down 32.58 percent from a year earlier.

Market analysts said that judging from the July sales data, HTC may not be able to reach the lower end of its third-quarter sales forecast of NT$42 billion-NT$47 billion, which would represent a drop of 27.8-35 percent from the second quarter.

HTC attributed the expected sequential decline in revenues to an early delivery of products to distributors in the second quarter and a product transition period in the third quarter.

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