HTC loses mindshare in China with no Butterfly
CNATAIPEI--Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. saw consumer awareness of its brand decline last month in China, where its most popular model, the Butterfly, has yet to officially hit local stores, according to U.S. brokerage Morgan Stanley.
January 21, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
HTC's mindshare — a measure of consumer brand awareness — fell to 7.9 percent in December from 9.2 percent in the previous month, dropping it to fifth from second in November, Morgan Stanley said in a Jan. 16 report.
“HTC's rank dropped off the top three with the biggest share lost owing to the lack of a flagship model, which might not come as a surprise given the HTC Butterfly is not yet available in most channels in China,” Morgan Stanley analyst Jasmine Lu said in the report.
The HTC Butterfly, launched in Japan on Oct. 17 and in the United States on Nov. 14, features an ultra-sharp 5-inch display and the latest quad-core processor from American chip designer Qualcomm Inc.
Among other global brands, Apple Inc.'s mindshare rose from 8.6 percent in November to 9.1 percent in December thanks to the official launch of the iPhone 5, placing it second behind Samsung Electronics Co.'s 20.3 percent, Morgan Stanley's data showed.
Finnish handset maker Nokia Oyj enjoyed the biggest gain among global brands of 0.8 percentage points, pushing its mindshare to third in the rankings at 8.4 percent.
The company's new Windows 8-powered Lumia 920 is being sold via China Mobile Ltd., the country's largest telecom operator.
Among Chinese brands, Lenovo Group Ltd. closed its mindshare gap with Samsung, Apple and Nokia to rank fourth, backed by broader distribution and competitive pricing for flagship models.
Ray Yam, president of HTC China, said in November that HTC will start to benefit from its patent settlement with rival Apple in 2013 as the company focuses more effort on product innovation.
Many of HTC's projects have started to proceed at a faster clip, and the Taoyuan-based company has changed the way it negotiates with telecom operators, Yam said in an interview with the Economic Observer of China.