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HTC still lagging in China: survey

TAIPEI -- China's consumers are still more interested in smartphones made by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc., while Taiwan's HTC Corp. remains in a lower-tier group, according to a survey recently released by Morgan Stanley.

The U.S. brokerage firm found that HTC products had a 4.9 percent share of the page views in November on ZOL.com, one of China's biggest online shops, ranking the Taiwanese phone maker in sixth place — the same position in which it was listed in the October survey.

Samsung and Apple stayed in the top two spots with page view shares of 21.8 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively, followed by Lenovo Group Ltd. with 7.8 percent, Nokia Oyj with 6.9 percent and Huawei Technologies Co. with 5.7 percent.

Morgan Stanley said China's smartphone shipments to distributors grew by 14 percent from the previous month in November to 33.7 million units.

Assuming a further 10-percent monthly growth in December, smartphone shipments during the fourth quarter of 2013 will show a drop by 4 percent quarter-on-quarter, bringing the 2013 total shipments in China to 418 million units, it added.

The November data shows that the average selling price of handsets supporting 4G TD-LTE networks was 3,543 Chinese yuan (US$586), more than double the average price for all smartphones of about 1,700 yuan.

Morgan Stanley's data also found that page views on smartphones with a 5-inch or larger display rose from 11 percent in October to 14 percent in November, while smartphones with screen sizes of 4.1 inches and 5 inches remained consumers' favorites, accounting for 63 percent of page views.

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