x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

HTC launches gold-plated smartphone in the Middle East

HTC is launching a gold-plated version of its new phone exclusively in the Middle East as a show of commitment to the region.

The HTC One (M8) on display during the launch event in Dubai, April 2, 2014. Sarah Dea / The National
The HTC One (M8) on display during the launch event in Dubai, April 2, 2014. Sarah Dea / The National

HTC is launching a gold-plated version of its new phone exclusively in the Middle East as a show of commitment to the region.

The Taiwanese phone manufacturer which launched its HTC One (M8) earlier this month in London is trying to increase its foothold in the Middle East by ensuring a simultaneous launch time across the entire Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region.

Besides the gold-plated version, there are three different colours to choose from phone, which will available before the end of this week in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and will be priced at Dh2,750. The rest of the region will have to wait another week or two for the phone, when the amber gold version will also be launched.

HTC would not reveal the exact price of the gold-plated version but said that it would be on sale for a five-figure dollar sum.

“For the first time the phone will be on sale at the same time as the rest of EMEA – that is a strategic decision. The second thing is we’ve created a unique version of the M8, we kicked off a real gold version which will be launched in this region and there will be global exclusivity for the first two weeks of its life,” said Phil Blair, the president of HTC EMEA.

The company is also increasing its marketing budget to help ramp up sales.

“In the recent past, HTC has not been considered the device of choice as the product line up has been reduced, leaving just a few models in the range,” said Angel Rangel, the research director of systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “Its current price point together with a limited investment in marketing has caused the product not to enjoy the success it deserves.”

HTC’s market share for smartphone devices in the Middle East decreased from 3.9 per cent in 2012 to 1.7 per cent last year.

thamid@thenational.ae

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