HTC shares up as new phone hits shelves


TAIPEI — Shares of HTC Corp. rallied strongly Monday on the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s formal announcement that its new flagship model — the HTC One — will definitely hit store shelves in Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Germany this week.

HTC shares opened higher at NT$248 (US$8.318), up 2.5 percent from Friday’s close.

More than 3 million shares changed hands in early morning trade, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data.

HTC said in a statement that its new smartphone will also become available in all other European markets as well as in North America and Asia-Pacific countries by the second half of April.

Senior HTC executives said last week that preorders for the HTC One have far exceeded their original target.

Some analysts have hailed HTC’s success in starting sales of its new champion model ahead of its archrival Samsung’s new flagship smartphone the Galaxy S4, which will not hit store shelves until late April. HTC’s head start could help boost sales of its new model, the analysts said.

Researchers at Normura Securities’ Taipei branch said, however, that it remains to be seen whether that strategy would pay off.

With the global high-end smartphone market currently dominated by Apple Inc. and Samsung Corp., the release date of the new HTC One is not very significant, Normura researchers said. They said HTC’s stock prospects will depend on the new model’s actual sales figures. HTC to Revamp Brand Image HTC will use new slogans in its upcoming advertising campaigns in a bid to reshape its brand image, the company’s top marketer said yesterday.

The Taoyuan-based company has been using “quietly brilliant” as its brand slogan since October 2009, but has decided to market its new HTC One flagship phone under the themes “bold,” “authentic” and “playful.”

“We have a lot of innovative ideas, but we have not publicized them enough in the past,” Ben Ho, chief marketing officer of HTC, said at a media briefing.

The term “bold” means HTC will promote its new products’ features more heavily, while “authentic” indicates that HTC will focus on its own innovation and will not copy others’ ideas, Ho said.

“Playful” means HTC will create more interesting features based on consumer demand, he said.

To strengthen communication with tech-savvy smartphone users, HTC plans to increase its marketing spending in digital media by 250 percent and in conventional media by 100 percent this year, Ho added.