With Desire C, HTC tries to tighten loose ends

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There has been quite a buzz in the Indian Smartphones market where the last few months saw big players like Samsung, Nokia, Sony, BlackBerry and even homegrown brands like Lava launching handsets in this fast evolving category. To add to the flurry of launches, HTC rolled out Desire C for users hooked on to music on their handsets. The latest device claims to offer superior quality sound experience and comes fitted with Beats Audio technology and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform among other features to manage personal and professional engagements.

The market is filled with Smartphones and 2011-12 marks the dawn of an era of such phones. According to Tarun Pathak, Analyst, Cyber Media Research, the Smartphone segment in December 2011 held a 6 per cent share of the total mobile phone market in the country and has come down to 5.3 per cent in the last one or two months. “The average monthly sale of Smartphones in the country is around eight lakhs, which is the overall picture of the segment in the months of 2012,” he says.

Tarun Pathak, Analyst, Cyber Media Research

Tarun Pathak, Analyst, Cyber Media Research

Players like Samsung, Nokia and Blackberry hold the top three space of the mobile phone market today. The offering of these companies range from a simple monochrome instrument priced around Rs 1,000 to a mid range pegged at Rs 9,520. However, in recent times the market saw the launch of high end handsets such as Nokia PureView 808, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Intel and Lava’s Xolo priced above Rs 20,000 – Rs 30,000. However, HTC Desire C is priced at an Rs 14,999 and according to Pathak 50 per cent of the sales are in this price category.

“HTC is competing mainly with Samsung in terms of offering and utility in the market and with Sony in terms of positioning in the top five list, both Samsung and HTC launched their high end phones the Galaxy SIII and One X respectively,” says Pathak.

The game that HTC plays is highly strategic, to counter prices, utility and functionality. HTC is covering up all loose ends to compete in the market. “HTC has a premium segment phone, it has One X that competes with Samsung Galaxy SIII and One V in the mid premium segment that competes with Sony Xperia and the Desire series that compete with most of the other brands like BlackBerry and Nokia,” he adds.

To compete with alternative brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and Spice mobiles, HTC has Dual Sim Desire V, which is strategically placed at the right position to capture the masses. “If I have the budget to buy a phone worth Rs 9,000- 10,000 and that too, a Spice, Micromax or a Lava, why not spend an extra buck and buy a Desire V, that has the credibility of an established company,” Pathak appends.

Seeing the low brand equity of companies like Micromax, Lava, Spice and Karbonn in the Rs 12,000- Rs 15,000 bracket, this space is now owned by HTC, Nokia, Samsung and Blackberry.  The target audience is right, the budget is right and phones in this range are now giving the consumers a groovy deal. HTC on the other hand has the ability to place itself in the exact price category that is necessary for the product offerings.

Pathak comments that HTC Desire C, even though having a small screen size is not meant for too much content consumption, it is a powerful Smartphone that concentrates on music as a category with features like drop box storage, expandable memory up to 25 GB and the appropriate price tag, will entice the consumers.

HTC has been very active in the advertisement arena, for the past few months with One X and V. “This hype about the premium category mobile phone that HTC offers works for the publicity of the new and mid segment phones that are launched like the Desire C,” says Pathak. Hence, 2012 is a crucial year for the Smartphone industry as there is still a long way to go and with the launch of the Desire C, the market share will be seeing a good percentage of HTC phones.

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