HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, has been fighting to turn around its plunging sales by learning a lesson or two from Apple. First: spend on branding, which Apple does well and HTC does not. Second: don’t ship scratched phones, which Apple did when it first launched the iPhone 5.
To the dismay of investors and consumers, the launch of HTC’s newest smartphone has been delayed. The reason has been the difficulty producing the phone’s camera and metal back — compounded, says its marketing chief, by a desire to avoid Apple’s error and waste his newly-enlarged ad budget by annoying buyers with scuffed gadgets.
Already the third-largest online user base in the world, India has the potential to double its economic contribution from the internet in the next three years.
India could see a surge in the internet’s role in the economy from 1.6 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2011, to up to 3.3 per cent in 2015, putting it near developed countries on this measure, according to a McKinsey report.
As New York braces itself for Samsung’s heavily hyped launch of its latest Galaxy smartphone, complete with coverage on giant screens in Times Square, the choice of venue reflects the company’s conviction that it has gained the upper hand in its battle with Apple, writes Simon Mundy.
In 2010, with Apple still dominant in the smartphone market, the first Galaxy handset was launched at a modest event in Singapore. A year later, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung unveiled the second in the series; by May 2012, it was confident enough to launch the Galaxy SIII at a high-profile standalone event in London. Now, as Thursday’s New York launch demonstrates, Samsung is going all out to attack Apple’s grip on its home US market. Read more
India may be the world’s second largest mobile phone market by users but so far it hasn’t been a major focus for Apple. In the absence of the iPhone, Samsung and BlackBerry have led the way in the country.
More recently, however, that has begun to change. Just as BlackBerry launches its first smartphone in India under the BlackBerry 10 operating system, Apple is joining the fray with a big push in the developing market.
Smartphone-maker HTC spent relatively little time at its launch event today bragging about the technical specs of its new flagship phone, the HTC One.
Instead, the Taiwanese company focused in on the phone’s redesigned user interface and new offerings — including a homescreen with live
content feeds, a camera app that automatically creates montages of a user’s pictures and video clips, and stereo speakers sounding halfway decent — that company designers say reflect how they see people using their phones to consume, create and share increasing quantities of content. Read more
HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, is the latest foreign investor lured to Myanmar and the potential of its growing consumer base, writes Sarah Mishkin and Gwen Robinson
What edge does HTC think it has against Samsung, its much larger competitor that already has big operations in the country? Perhaps the fact that, as it has done most notably in China, HTC’s phones are designed specifically for the local market, with an operating system capable of handling Myanmar’s alphabet, not something supported by most software.
Surging mobile sales drove earnings at Samsung Electronics to another record, despite competition from Apple’s iPhone 5. The FT’s Simon Mundy reports from Seoul on how Samsung beat analysts’ forecasts and how the company is positioned. Read more
When the biggest beast in the jungle decides not to fight you any more, your survival chances go up a lot. That’s the message from HTC shares on Monday.
After the company and Apple announced a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement, shares in the Taiwanese phonemaker leapt up 6.86 per cent – its daily limit. But is this the turning point for HTC, which saw profits fall 80 per cent in the third quarter?
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Richard Waters, Chris Nuttall, April Dembosky and Tim Bradshaw in the FT's San Francisco bureau share their views - plus tech insights from Maija Palmer and Robin Kwong in London and Sarah Mishkin in Taipei.
Richard Waters has headed the FT's San Francisco bureau since 2002 and covers Google and Microsoft, among other things. A former New York bureau chief for the FT, he is intrigued by Silicon Valley's unique financial and business culture, and is looking forward to covering his second Tech Bust.
Chris Nuttall has been online and messing around with computers for more than 20 years and since 2004 has reported from the FT's San Francisco bureau on semiconductors, video games, consumer electronics and all things interwebby.
Maija Palmer has been writing about technology for the FT since 1999 and is fascinated by cybercrime, privacy and all the other issues of the information society. Based in London, she covers European tech companies and hopes that they won't all get acquired by American rivals.
Robin Kwong is the FT's technology, media and telecoms page editor in London. Formerly he was the Taipei correspondent and wrote about the companies that manufacture the vast majority of the world's computers and gadgets. He is interested in the intricacies of the technology supply chain and how China is increasingly changing the tech landscape.
Tim Bradshaw is the FT's digital media correspondent, and has just moved from London to join our team in San Francisco. He has covered start-ups such as Twitter and Spotify, as well as the online ambitions of more established media companies, such as the BBC iPlayer. He also covers the advertising, marketing and video-game industries. Tim has been writing about technology, business and finance since 2003.