HTC plans comeback with One Mini

2013-11-07 10:46
HTC plans to accelerate its brand awareness in SA with the One Mini. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

HTC plans to accelerate its brand awareness in SA with the One Mini. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg – The launch of the HTC Mini in South Africa represents a new start as the company re-aligns its strategy to jumpstart its sales in the region.

"We're starting pretty much from ground up. We're looking at basics; we're going to start up again from scratch," Peter Blantanis, Sales and Marketing for HTC within Ingram Micro Mobility told News24.

Ingram was appointed recently to re-invigorate the HTC brand in SA as the marketing efforts in the past did not produce the spike in sales despite the market growth in smartphones.

"We understand that the road ahead is going to be quite tough, understandably so. But we do know that it will take some time," Blantanis said about the growth prospects for the brand which is under pressure.

The Mini features much of the same software found on its bigger brother, the HTC One and HTC conceded that despite winning awards for its devices, the company had to make a concerted effort to sell in SA.

Pressure

Unlike its bigger brother, the One Mini has a dual core 1.4GHz processor and 11cm display.

Most budget mobile phone manufacturers often reduce critical components to save money in production, but HTC has included the same "ultrapixel" camera found on the One. Features such Zoe and Blink Feed are also built into the smartphone.

The device has a similar aluminium design of the One, but there is a plastic rim.

Blantanis said that Ingram had a global partnership with Taiwan-based HTC and there was no pressure at the moment to drive sales.

HTC pair

"When it comes to pressure from HTC, they're very willing to support us on the number; they're not pressuring us on the number," he said of the sales targets.

The One Mini competes with budget devices from Samsung and Sony in SA and a recent survey by Gartner showed that the market for premium devices is expected to flatten by about 2017 as consumers become increasingly price conscious.

"Growth is expected to come from mid-tier smartphones in mature markets and low-end Android smartphones in emerging markets," the company said.

Blantanis insisted that they were not looking that far down the road, indicating that the main focus was to drive the brand value in SA first.

"The reality is that 2017 is quite far away for us, and our focus is what we can do with the brand right now."

The One Mini has a recommended retail price of R5 500 and is available on contract from Cell C and Vodacom at R299 per month.


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Read more on:    htc  |  mobile

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