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HTC's US market share falls to six-quarter low

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- HTC Corp.'s smartphone market share in the United States slid to its lowest point over the past six quarters in October-December of 2013, despite the unveiling of its larger- sized flagship device, the HTC One Max.

The struggling Taiwanese phone vendor held only 5.7 percent of the U.S. market in the last quarter to rank fifth, compared with a 12 percent share in the third quarter of 2012, when it was ranked third, according to data compiled by market research firm comScore Inc.

Apple Inc. remained the top U.S. smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a 41.8-percent market share, up 1.2 percentage points from July-September, while Samsung Electronics Co. ranked second, increasing its market share to 26.1 percent from 24.9 percent.

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. stayed in third and fourth places, respectively, with 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent market shares, comScore's latest survey shows.

The research firm's data found that 156 million people aged over 13 in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in December, making up 65.2 percent of overall mobile phone subscribers.

The results came after HTC presented the One Max to the world in Beijing Oct. 15. The gigantic version of the flagship One series features a 5.9-inch full-HD 1080p display, 2GB of internal memory, a massive 3,300 mAh battery and a fingerprint scanner.

Several Taiwanese brokerage firms, however, had been cautious in estimating sales of HTC's first phablet model, saying that the new product was unlikely to boost the company's sales in the fourth quarter.

Taipei-based Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co. projected monthly shipments of the One Max at a relatively low 150,000 units because it runs on the older and slower Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm Inc.

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