x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

HTC’s new flagship smartphone to hit UAE stores

The Taiwanese company says its new flagship has evolved with better features.

A handout photo of HTC One M8 phones. Courtesy HTC
A handout photo of HTC One M8 phones. Courtesy HTC

HTC has unveiled its latest flagship phone, the HTC One (M8), which is set to hit UAE stores in the next couple of weeks.

The previous version, the HTC One (M7), was the Taiwanese company’s most successful phone to date, winning a host of awards including best phone of the year at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

“We’re incredibly proud of the fact we have created such a great phone and we have evolved the features and made them better,” said Graham Wheeler, the director of commercialisation product management at HTC.

The new flagship has a 5-inch display and incorporates a gesture-based system using finger taps instead of buttons for commands. It also has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera to take clear “selfies”.

The manufacturer is looking to recreate the same level of popularity with the launch of three different colours, one in “amber gold” not too dissimilar from the iPhone 5S gold.

“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 Angela Rangel, the research director of systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “Its current price point together with a limited investment in marketing has cause the product [HTC One M7] not to enjoy the success it deserves.”

Issues with supply chain and distribution also hindered sales of the M7 and as a result, HTC’s market share for smartphones fell from 3.9 per cent in 2010 to 1.7 per cent last year in the Middle East, according to IDC amid stiff competition from Samsung, Apple and cheaper Chinese brands such as Lenovo and Huawei.

Samsung currently has a 49.9 per cent share of the smartphone market in the UAE and 57.3 per cent share in the Middle East.

thamid@thenational.ae

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