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[March 26, 2014]
HTC updates One [Daily Tribune (Bahrain)]
(Daily Tribune (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HTC is updating its flagship HTC One smartphone by giving it a larger screen, better software and a camera that's easier to use. The original HTC One received good reviews and was named the best smartphone of 2013 at the wireless industry's premier trade show in Barcelona, Spain, last month. But HTC has failed to translate that glowing praise into sales.
According to Gartner, HTC had less than 5 per cent of the worldwide smartphone market in 2013. HTC executives acknowledge that the company made several operational mistakes in releasing last year's phone, including the fact that customers of the leading U.S. wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, weren't able to buy it until months after its launch.
This time, the phone will be available right away through all the major carriers. Online orders started yesterday, while retail stores will get them on April 10. It will cost about $200 to $250 with a two-year service contract, or about $650 without a contract. HTC also plans aggressive marketing, including the heavy use of cable and broadcast television ads.
The goal is to reach tech-savvy consumers and trend-setters who are likely to recommend the phone to friends. The company didn't specify how much it plans to spend, but executives said it won't try to match Samsung dollar for dollar.
Samsung Electronics Co. currently dominates the global smartphone market. Last year, the Korean company had a 31pc market share compared with Apple Inc.'s 16pc. Samsung, in particular, is notorious for its heavy marketing.
The company spent nearly 4.6 trillion won ($4.3 billion) in advertising in the 12 months through September, about four times the $1.1bn Apple spent in the same period, the latest for which figures were available. Although Samsung also makes TVs, refrigerators and other products, analysts believe much of the marketing is for newer products such as phones.
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