HTC targets premium market
to boost sales

Taiwanese mobile phone maker, the HTC Corporation, announced that their latest smartphone series, the HTC One, would be available for premium smartphone buyers in Indonesia by the second quarter of the year.

Budi Janto, HTC Indonesia’s country manager, said the smartphones were already available for the Indonesian market.

“However, the singular hurdle we currently have to tackle is the new import regulations, which have lengthened the time to market of our products,” he said on Friday at the a presentation of the HTC One to the press.

The Trade Ministry has released tighter regulations to curb the flood of imported mobile phones in the domestic market. Mobile phone companies must now secure import licenses by sending a written request to the ministry, among other requirements.

“We have started the application process,” Budi added.

However, he declined to reveal the firm’s targets regarding the volume of HTC One smartphones the company sought to ship and sell in Indonesia.

“I would like to point out that Indonesia has a significant smartphone market. Every month, 1.2 million smartphones are sold in the Indonesian market,” he said, quoting data from research firm GfK.

Ben Ho, chief marketing officer with HTC, added that the mobile phone maker sought to penetrate the premium segment with the HTC One.

“We are targeting a consumer segment that is tech-savvy,” he said, adding that although the Indonesian smartphone market was huge in the mid- and low-tier segments, the country had a “high value segment”.

Yet, the premium segment, in which devices cost Rp 7 million (US$720.12) and over, is not without competitors.

BlackBerry launched the BlackBerry Z10 in Indonesia last month while Samsung, which recently claimed to have assumed the lead in the mobile phone market, has welcomed pre-orders for their Samsung Galaxy S4, in collaboration with mobile phone operators such as PT XL Axiata.

Similarly, the HTC One is collaborating with mobile phone distributor PT Trikomsel Oke (TRIO) and mobile phone operator PT Indosat (ISAT) to help with the initial push of the HTC One in the marketplace.

With regard to the cutthroat competition, Ho said that HTC would “be very focused on the market in which we want to play”, adding that the company would refrain from bombarding the market by “putting too many dollars” into marketing efforts.

HTC planned instead to focus on digital rather than traditional media given that their target market was accustomed to searching for information online, he added.

“That is why we are moving our investment away from traditional media to digital,” he told The Jakarta Post. He added that HTC would conduct road shows to introduce the HTC One to potential consumers.

“We believe the most important thing is to provide a product and product experience that consumers really want,” he said. “We believe that we can achieve this and that our brand equity will really grow,” he said.

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