Taiwan’s HTC is aiming to capture 15 percent of India’s smartphone market by the end of this year – an ambitious leap of more than double its current market share – as it gambles on the success of its HTC One flagship phone in the country.
A report from the Press Trust of India says that HTC currently has a 6 percent share of the Indian market, according to research from GfK Group. Smartphone shipments have been on the rise in the South Asian nation, with a recent report saying that smartphone manufacturers shipped 5.7 million handsets to India in Q1 this year, a 64% increase from the previous year.
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“We are aiming [for] 15 percent market share in the domestic smartphone market by the end of this year,” HTC country head India, Faisal Siddiqui, was quoted as saying by PTI.
The HTC One was officially launched in India earlier this week with a retail price of RS 42,900 ($760), and has partnered with Reliance Communications to offer users free Internet access for a period of time – 1GB of 3G data for three months.
Last year, Siddiqui said: “India is not only a key market for HTC, but also one of the largest countries with the second largest population in the world.”
HTC has been struggling amid intense rivalry in the smartphone market, as Apple and Samsung grow in dominance and squeeze it out of the market. During the first fiscal quarter of this year, HTC posted its lowest quarterly profit (NT$85 million or $2.8 million) on record, a staggering 98 percent drop compared to the first quarter last year.
The company has placed its bets on the HTC One and ‘Facebook phone’ HTC First to turn things around. Despite selling around 5 million HTC One smartphones since its launch, there are already signs that finding success is going to be an uphill battle. The launch of HTC First has been delayed in the UK as Facebook reportedly decided to cancel all pre-orders and shipments until further notice, due to “customer feedback” following its availability in the US, and there has been a growing number of senior staff leaving HTC.
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