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HTC unveils MediaTek-based budget phone

TAIPEI -- HTC Corp. unveiled Thursday its first smartphone using a chipset from Taiwan's MediaTek Inc., the leading chip supplier for Chinese smartphones, underlining its ambition to take on other low-cost Android phone makers.

The HTC Desire 310 sports a 4.5-inch screen with an 854 x 480-pixel resolution, a MediaTek MT6582M 1.3GHz quad-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera, 4GB internal storage and micro-SD card expansion for up to 32GB external storage.

The entry-level phone also boasts HTC's renowned features, such as BlinkFeed live-streaming home screen, and Video Highlights, which automatically creates slide show effects for pictures, the Taiwanese phone vendor said in a press release.

“Everybody today wants a smartphone that can keep up with them, regardless of whether it is a flagship or entry level model,” said Peter Chou, HTC's chief executive officer.

“The latest addition to our renowned HTC Desire range combines super-fast processing and premium features at a lower price, offering users the best possible experience in this category,” he said.

The Desire 310 will be available through mobile operators in Taiwan from April, HTC said, without disclosing the phone's price band. The 2013 models of the Desire series were priced at between NT$4,990 (US$165) and NT$12,900 in Taiwan.

The company unveiled two other mid-range Desire phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in late February, trying to narrow its gap with leading players in the affordable phone segment, in which HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang admitted HTC did not work well last year.

After reporting two consecutive quarterly operating losses in the third and fourth quarters of last year, HTC has projected a net loss per share of between NT$2.1 and NT$2.6 for the first three months of 2014.

Wang, however, told Taiwanese media at the MWC trade show in Barcelona that she believes her company will return to profitability from the second quarter of this year when its new products go on sale.

HTC shares closed up 0.72 percent at NT$140 Thursday in Taipei.

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This undated photo provided by HTC shows smartphones of the HTC Desire 310 series. (CNA)

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