HTC Wants to Sell Its Phones in India With Help From Local Brands

The company will license its brand name to Indian mobile brands and get royalty fees in return.

Published07 Mar 2019, 01:29 PM IST
Gadgets
2 min read

Remember HTC, the mobile brand which is rumoured to have ended its business in India asking its senior executives to leave?

The brand is reportedly set to resume its journey in the country with new products that will be made by other companies. Confused?

According to this Economic Times report, the Taiwanese manufacturer will offer naming rights to local mobile players like Lava and Karbonn, who can then sell ‘HTC’ branded phones within their targeted budget.

HTC was sailing in the same rocking boat as brands like Micromax, Lava and Karbonn who couldn’t face the Chinese onslaught. Brands which changed the dynamics of Indian mobile industry for good.

According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), it is more of a failure on the part of HTC to have misjudged the competition and not having grasped market realities.

The new strategy from HTC, as mentioned in the report could help both Lava and Karbonn to re-enter the highly competitive sub-15K segment. This is where Xiaomi has stolen everyone’s thunder with the Redmi Note series, along with slew of other brands like Vivo, Oppo and Honor among others.

Recently, we have seen Samsung, another mobile giant, tweaking its product line-up with mid-range A and M series that will likely appeal to buyers in this price bracket.

HTC won’t be the first global brand to try its luck with this route, BlackBerry too signed up with a local device manufacturer in India to continue selling its Android-powered phones.

HTC sold its Desire series in the sub 20K segment.
HTC sold its Desire series in the sub 20K segment.
(Photo: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)
With $200 (Rs 14,100 approx) being a sweet spot for mobile buyers in India, it’s hardly surprising to see HTC showing interest in joining hands with local brands.

By partnering with Lava and Karbonn, which according to the report is at an advanced stage, HTC could make use of their local manufacturing setup, helping them cut costs on the final product.

However, software has been the weakest link for Indian mobile brands over the years, so unless they plan on working with Google (via Android One), HTC might have issues with a half-baked product rolling out into the market.

Even then, both Lava and Karbonn will have a tough time looking to redeem its position in the market, where currently Indian brands are not even the top five of mobile market share in the country.

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