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HTC ready to take on iPhone 6 challenge in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電) has said it is ready to take on the challenge from Apple Inc.'s anticipated iPhone 6 in the Taiwanese market with the newest member of its popular Butterfly family that was launched Tuesday.

The HTC Butterfly 2, launched at a press conference in Tokyo, will go on sale in Japan Aug. 29 and in Taiwan Sept. 2, followed by more Asian markets such as Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Jack Tong (董俊良), president of HTC North Asia, told reporters at the product launch that the original Butterfly was ranked as HTC's best-selling smartphone in Taiwan last year, with a long-lasting product life cycle of more than one year.

The combined sales of the first-generation Butterfly and the high-end HTC One in Taiwan surpassed 1 million units in 2013, underlining the success of HTC's “dual flagship” strategy, he said.

These records give the company more confidence in launching the Butterfly 2 at a time when consumers seem to have delayed their purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 6 launch in the second half of 2014, Tong said.

“The (upcoming) iPhone 6 launch is certainly a challenge for HTC,” Tong admitted.

But the handset maker will seek to extend its premium value in Taiwan's high-end market through sales of its One M8 flagship phone, unveiled in the first half of 2014, and more “equally high-quality products” in the second half, he noted.

Tong said HTC will take on the iPhone 6 challenge with its new Butterfly 2 in “a battle between local and foreign brands” in Taiwan during the second half of the year.

The Butterfly 2 is essentially the same device as the HTC J Butterfly HTL23, a handset unveiled July 31 that was tailor-made for 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-megapixel front-facing camera allows users to take beautiful selfies with ease, according to HTC.

Other hardware specifications are similar to the flagship One M8: A 5-inch full-HD 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, at least 16 GB of internal memory, a micro-SD card slot supporting up to 128 GB and a 2,700 mAh battery.

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