HTC to 'go big' on Windows Phone 8, promises renewed marketing focus
HTC, struggling amid weak sales, vowed to put a major emphasis on Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 as well as an aggressive marketing strategy, according to a senior HTC executive.
The Taiwanese smartphone maker is "extremely bullish on Windows Phone 8, and we're going big," Jason Mackenzie, the company's global president of sales and marketing, told reporters Wednesday, according to PC Magazine.
HTC has been a strong proponent of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform--its new flagship One series of phones all run Android--but it appears HTC will invest more in Windows Phone to bolster sales. HTC has also faced patent infringement issues on some of its Android phones, which were delayed for a short time at U.S. customs earlier this summer over a dispute with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
HTC will host a media event Sept. 19 where it is widely expected to unveil at least one new Windows Phone 8 smartphone. "From a hardware perspective to date the [Windows Phone] products have not been that exciting," Mackenzie said. "All these OEMs have been giving their varsity products to Android, and Windows hasn't had really strong super-phones."
Mackenzie also said the company has been spending more on advertising its brand to push its audio, camera and design capabilities, though he declined to say how much HTC is spending.
"We need to be more bold," Mackenzie told Bloomberg. "We're not satisfied with where we are." Indeed, HTC's sales have missed analyst estimates for the past four quarters. HTC said its August sales clocked in at $803 million, down 4 percent from July and a 47 percent dip from the $1.52 billion it had in August 2011.
Mackenzie noted that HTC is still profitable and that it is optimistic it can challenge Apple and Samsung Electronics in the smartphone market. "Consumers want choice. A world where you only have Apple and Samsung is not a good world or a good for the smartphone ecosystem," he said. "A strong challenge is required, and HTC is the best positioned company to challenge the competition."
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