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HTC Desire 616 octa-core phone hits stores in China and Hong Kong

TAIPEI--HTC Corp. (宏達電) confirmed Wednesday that its new Desire 616 mid-tier model has hit stores in China and Hong Kong as the Taiwanese phone vendor expands its product portfolio to create new sales momentum.

The HTC Desire 616 will also be available in other “select countries and regions,” with prices differing according to the specific markets, HTC told CNA in an e-mail without giving a launch timetable or price reference.

However, The Next Web, a technology-focused media company, reported July 7 that the dual-SIM device will be sold in Russia and other markets across North Asia and South Asia at a cost of about US$238, and that HTC has no plans to sell the phone in markets outside Asia.

The Desire 616 boasts a 5-inch display, a 1.4GHz octa-core processor from Taiwan-based MediaTek Inc., a 2,000 mAh removable battery, an 8-megapixel rear camera enabling 1080p HD video recording, 4GB of internal memory and a micro-SD card slot for up to 32GB extra storage capacity.

The handset also comes with the BlinkFeed live-streaming home screen, an iconic feature first introduced in the HTC One flagship phone, which includes an “offline reading” mode that allows users to save content when connected to Wi-Fi or 3G network and read it later when offline.

The Desire 616 is part of HTC's efforts to expand its product offerings into various price bands to attract more consumers, as the Taiwanese company seeks to sustain its sales momentum into the second half of the year.

HTC reported NT$2.26 billion (US$75.5 million) in net profit for the April-June period, or NT$2.74 in earnings per share, well within the market estimate of between NT$2.21 and NT$3.

HTC's second-quarter operating profit totaled NT$2.43 billion, up from NT$2 billion in operating loss in the first quarter and emerging from three consecutive quarters in the red.

Shares of HTC fell 1.10 percent to NT$135 Wednesday in Taipei trading, compared with a 0.43 dip in the weighted index.

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