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Customization essential to HTC: executive

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp. will continue to work with telecom operators to produce more customized smartphones based on new technology and localized services, a company executive said Tuesday.

“Telecom operators need differentiated services to increase their data revenue. And this is essential to HTC,” HTC North Asia President Jack Tong told CNA at an event held in Taipei to launch the company's new HTC One series phones.

HTC's cooperation with Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's largest wireless carrier, to provide near-field communication (NFC)-enabled services is a good example of offering customized models, Tong said.

“That (NFC) is a trend in mobile applications,” he said. “We will form closer ties with them (Chunghwa Telecom) to help them put in and deliver more similar services over time.”

Chunghwa Telecom is partnering with three handset makers — HTC, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and Japan's Sony Mobile — to introduce NFC phones.

The NFC technology will enable smartphone users to make contactless payments in Taipei's MRT and at local retail stores equipped with electronic wallet services by waving their phone at a sensoring device at the point of sale, the carrier said.

Although Chunghwa Telecom is expected to purchase fewer than 1 million NFC-enabled smartphones in 2013, the company said it will likely buy more than 10 models in the category.

The global market for NFC phones is forecast to reach 100 million units this year, up from 30 million units in 2011, Sweden-based research firm Berg Insight said.

HTC moved toward customized phones earlier this year when it launched the HTC J smartphone in May through a partnership with KDDI Corp., Japan's No. 2 mobile carrier.

The 4.3-inch Android model ranked as KDDI's best selling smartphone in June and has remained among the top three bestsellers so far, capturing a double-digit share of KDDI's smartphone sales, HTC said.

The success of the HTC J can be attributed to a new body design and several localized features that were added in collaboration with KDDI, the company said.

These functions include digital television services, an electronic wallet, infrared access for wireless transmission of data, and WiMAX wireless broadband support, according to HTC.

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