Is HTC declaring a war on Micromax, Xiaomi & Lava?

The competition in India’s affordable smartphone market category is heating up. On one hand we have the Chinese and local handset manufacturers slugging it out in the ring for the coveted ‘affordable-and-most-loved-phones-of-Indians’ tag, on the other hand we also have the biggies like Samsung, Motorola, and others making their best efforts to grab a good market share in the affordable handset category.

HTC is the latest to join the bandwagon. It is not that we haven’t seen affordable handsets from the manufacturer, but now HTC has revealed that it will try to make it big in the mid-range smartphone category i.e. Rs 8,000-15,000. According to a PTI report, HTC plans to launch several new devices in this category, including several 4G enabled devices, and is hoping to grab 7.5-8% market share in the next six months.

It goes without saying that HTC would face stiff competition from Micromax, Lava and Xiaomi—these handset manufacturers currently own a major market share in the affordable smartphone category in India. The big question is: How would HTC win over the existing players?

For those unaware, HTC currently own 5% market share and has very less options retailing under the Rs 10,000 category. This clearly inducates that HTC would need a well-defined strategy to win over the competition. When HTC President (Global Sales) Chia-Lin Chang was asked how HTC aims to achieve this target, he informed that “We will broaden our price play horizons at both ends. India is an important market for us. If HTC has to do good globally, India numbers have to be positive.”

For this, HTC would launch more phones under the Rs 10,000 category. What else? Every HTC device that will hit the Indian market now on will be 4G-compatible. While addressing the press during the launch of its mid-range One A9 and budget Desire 828 smartphones, Chang said, “We are looking to start from about Rs 8,000. We are hoping to gain 7.5-8 percent share in this category (Rs 8,000-Rs 15,000) in the next six months.”
While explaining HTC’s renewed focus on India’s smartphone category, Chang told PTI, “In India, 65 percent of smartphones sold are below the Rs 10,000 price point. Till now, we didn’t participate in that market… If we can capture 2 percent of the budget phones sold in India, we will have a huge growth momentum in India taking our global revenues higher.”

HTC surely has an interesting game plan, which if executed well, might give shudders to existing top players in the affordable smartphone category. And for consumers this would result in more options. Interesting!