HTC, who has spent the last 12 months grabbing market share at the top end of the Smartphone market with a new range of Google Android based phones, is confident that they can grow market share even further when a new range of Windows Mobile 7 phones are launched later this year.
The company is also set to enter the tablet market later this year with a Google Chrome based model that insiders say will be sold in Australia via Telstra.
Anthony Petts, Sales and Marketing Director at HTC, said: “I am 100 percent convinced that the new Windows 7 mobile will be a success in Australia, HTC is in an excellent position to benefit from the launch of this new OS which has been built from the ground up, as we are backing two strong operating systems with Android and the new Microsoft offering”.
As part of their expansion plans in Australia, the company has appointed Ben Hodgson as Country Manager. Hodgson, who was at one stage General Manager of iMate, a company that struggled in Australia selling Windows Mobile based Smartphones, has not returned calls to ChannelNews.
Highly regarded by Telstra, HTC is set to be one of the main brands sold by the carrier during the next 12 months as they push for higher margins and increased handset and data sales.
During the past 12 months mobile phone services generated $6.4bn at Telstra, an increase of 6 per cent with sales rising 7 per cent to $3.2bn in the second half.
Consumers spent $1bn texting with Telstra, while margins climbed during the past three years, from 30 to 35 percent due to the high adoption of Smartphones from the likes of HTC, Samsung and Apple.
During the past 12 months HTC has been one of the top selling brands at the national carrier with their Windows Mobile based HD2, and their HTC Desire which is based on the Android platform.
According to Petts, the company is now moving to deliver lower priced Smartphones such as the new HTC Android based Wildfire Smartphone, which goes on sale at Telstra this week $0 up front and $39 a month or an outright purchase of $345.
Packing similar Android features to the much desired HTC Desire, the Wilfire model is tipped to be a popular model according to Telstra executives.
Analysts have told ChannelNews that a “HTC low cost strategy” could well hurt Nokia, who after failing to deliver a knockout Smartphone, has now moved to hold onto share in the bottom end of the mobile phone market by selling low-cost models via convenience stores and petrol stations.
According to Petts, Nokia is facing further problems when Microsoft launches their new Windows Mobile 7 offering. “You have to give it to Microsoft, unlike Nokia with their Symbian operating system; Microsoft has bitten the bullet, ditched their old operating system and is now set to launch a new OS that we believe will be highly competitive”.
He added “Symbian is an old operating system and it’s proving much harder for Nokia to re-position the brand in the current market. I am 100 percent convinced that the new Windows Mobile will be highly successful and this will hurt Nokia”.
According to sources, HTC is set to launch a Chrome-based tablet in the USA on Black Friday, which is the day after the US Thanksgiving, when technology devices are often slashed in price.
Designed as a competitor to the iPad, the HTC Chrome tablet will be built around an NVidia Tegra 2 processor, with a 1280×720 multitouch display, 2Gb of RAM, 32Gb or more of SSD storage, webcam, GPS, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G networking, which is a similar hardware design to the new Toshiba SmartPad.
At this stage Petts is refusing to comment on the new HTC tablet despite earlier confirming that HTC was working on a tablet prototype.