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HTC Quits India – Full Story Why it Happened?
As per the latest report by Economic Times, HTC is planning to pack up operations in the Indian market. The Indian market has become hyper-competitive due to the invasion of the Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei, OnePlus, and Vivo.
As per the report, HTC India head Faisal Siddiqui, sales head Vijay Balachandran and product head R Nayyar, have resigned from the company or most likely are asked to go.
Further, there are about 70 to 80 employees who are also asked to leave the organization with some exceptions like the current CFO. HTC is packing the operations of mobile division and has already stopped production of mobiles in India for almost a year.
Recently, the brand launched the Desire 12 and Desire 12+ in the market with terrible specs and very high price. These were also received poorly in the market and with the availability of cheaper phones from Xiaomi and other brands, HTC was finding it hard to compete in the market.
There are more troubles for HTC India as there are several crores of payment which the company owes to the distributors. Also, there is a huge amount of stock in the market and with distributors which need to be liquidated.
I am still not clear if the company will continue to run the service centers or will wind up operations fully. And there are even questions like what will happen to the service support for existing handsets in the market.
Notably, the HTC distribution chain in India is managed by Optiemus Group firm MPS Telecom and Link Telecom. Adding to the woes, globally HTC is doing badly, as the company reported a drop of 68% in the earnings on the year to year basis, and plan to cut off 1500 Jobs.
So all I can say is, it is best for customers to buy phones from other brands and leave HTC for the moment till there is more clarity from the brand.
HTC is not the first victim of hyper-competition brands like LeEco, which once looked promising, failed to survive. LeEco has also packed operations in India owing to financial troubles back home and stiff competition in the sector.
Also, the ET report points out that they will continue to sell the HTC VR headset in India, but that is a negligible business in comparison to the mobile division.
Chinese companies are ruling the Indian mobile market and several players like Micromax, Lava, Xolo or Intex are facing the brunt. It is not unlikely we may see more closedowns in the coming months from some more brands.
One of the main reason for HTC not able to do well in the Indian market was a failure of the brand to offer better products at lower prices.
It continued too long with the same old strategy and rivals managed to get the upper hand.
LG is yet another brand which is doing poorly in the market and is struggling in the country. The falling prices of smartphones, cutting the margins for distributors and retailers is leading to a major shift in sales from offline to Online.
Recently, Oppo unveiled the low-cost RealME brand to counter Xiaomi which has more than 60% share of the online market. Further, brands like Asus have already changed the pricing strategy and become affordable with the launch of Zenfone Max Pro M1 and the Asus Zenfone 5z.
The mantra to survive and compete with Xiaomi in India is low-cost products, with great specs. Also, you need to kill the middleman (retailer and distributors) to make sure the products are affordable for the end buyer. Online is the way to go for brands if they want to compete with Xiaomi.
Read More Below – Why it is So hard to Be HTC or LG?
There are many reasons why it is hard to be LG or HTC in the smartphone world dominated by Samsung & Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Huawei and OnePlus.
There was a news today that LG is going to unveil the LG G6 at the MWC 2017. Also, there was another related news that Samsung will unveil the Samsung S8 in late March or early April 2017. That meant LG has an advantage of going first to market, but no they don’t.
The LG G6 was rumored to come with latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, but another Forbes report suggests, it may not (Why The LG G6 Won’t Have Snapdragon 835).
The report suggests Samsung would be using the Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 835 chipset for the Galaxy S8 and there will be a very limited supply of chips left for LG. Instead of the SD 835, LG will have to use the current fastest Snapdragon 821, which would not excite enthusiasts. The Snapdragon 821 is already present in phones like Google Pixel and OnePlus 3T.
By the time LG will release G6 in the market, the processor would have lived more than half of its flagship life cycle. Qualcomm new processor (835) which would be much faster, will be on the verge of getting released, and enthusiasts may not go for the LG G6.
Samsung is developing the Snapdragon 835 along with Qualcomm; this gives Samsung more bargaining power to utilize the chips early as per the report. Forbes may have said this now, but I pointed this when we heard that Samsung is making the Chip in collaboration with Qualcomm and it was alleged that Chip would power the Nokia P or Nokia 8. Snapdragon 835 Powered Nokia P – IS A Big Deal.
While HTC just launched the HTC U Ultra, the flagship for 2017, at least for the first half. It is powered by the Snapdragon 821. It seems both brands don’t have the type of bargaining power that Samsung has, neither they have the technology to create a cutting edge 10 Nm processor.
If they can’t compete at the top or stay innovative, it is going to be a tough battle. Especially when Chinese companies like Oneplus, Xiaomi, Huawei are making great devices for a much affordable price. HTC and LG are still keeping the prices higher even compared to Samsung, at times, it is a difficult strategy.
It is even more difficult in case of price sensitive and crazy specs markets, like India.
HTC and LG may have to do a lot of things to stay relevant for buyers, who are either looking for value for money or cutting edge devices in the future.
Read Below About Some Old HTC Flagship Mobiles
HTC U11 Plus, HTC U11 and U Play, U Ultra and HTC Desire HTC One X10 – All Details
HTC U11 Plus Launch on Flipkart India Sale Starts on 7 Feb
HTC unveiled the new HTC U11 Plus back in November 2017, and now the mobile is ready to ship to Indian buyers. The mobile is available on Flipkart and will start shipping from 7th February 2018. You can purchase the phone in sapphire blue or amazing silver color options.
HTC has the HTC U11 flagship that offers everything that the competition is offering and even has a damn good camera. But it doesn’t look futuristic as it comes with the old 16:9 design.
Display and Design
However, the new flagship, HTC U11 Plus comes with a stunning 6.0 Inch Display with 18:9 aspect ratio and an incredible 2880*1440 pixels resolution display. Besides, the display uses a Super LCD 6 panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and offers 537 PPI.
There are no sweeping changes to design, but it looks gorgeous with a translucent glass back liquid surface design. Both the color options available are subtle and offer a sophisticated look.
The phone looks a bit thick due to the large battery capacity. Moreover, it measures 8.5 mm in thickness and weighs 188 grams.
Further, the HTC U11 Plus comes with an incredible 12-megapixel (UltraPixel 3 with 1.4 μm pixel)rear camera with f/1.7 aperture and OIS, same as the HTC U11. There are some cool tricks like the ability to record 4K videos, PRO mode, Face detection, HDR+, slow-motion videos (1080p @120 FPS).
Additionally, we have an 8 Megapixel selfie camera that can click selfies if you smile or stay silent for a while. Also, it comes with a wide 85-degrees lens for broader shots. You can even use the selfie timer or do a live-makeup to enhance the selfies.
Performance and OS
Powering the phone is the fastest chipset available on any Android Phone. The Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 and the Adreno 540 GPU makes multi-tasking and gaming effortless.
Additionally, it comes with 6 GB of ram and 128 GB internal storage. There is even Dual-sim support and you can use the second sim slot for your micro-sd card. It supports upto 2 TB of expandable storage.
The presence of Android Oreo 8.0 out of the box makes the user experience delicious. There is HTC Sense companion that keeps offering suggestions based on your usage pattern. However, it is one of the cleanest UIs that you can have apart from the stock Android experience on the Pixel phones.
Some Nifty Features
The new HTC flagship comes with a myriad of features that are worth knowing. For starters, the U11 plus has a squeezable frame that you can use to click images, launch Apps or even the voice assistant.
Furthermore, the phone is dust and water resistant and comes with an IP 68 rating.
Some other handy features are, always-on voice commands, flip to mute and activity tracking.
It is impossible to not talk about the sound when describing an HTC phone. We have 4 microphones that not only help with better acoustic recording but also help with active noise cancelation and improve call quality. The phone comes with HTC Boomsound and USonic technology to improve the sound output.
For better sound through wireless headphones, the phone uses the Qualcomm aptX HD LDAC™ 24-bit high-resolution wireless audio. It even has support for Bluetooth 5.0, latest standard of Bluetooth technology.
NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-Type C, 4G VOLTE, Dual Sim, you name it and HTC has you covered. In fact, it comes with all the modern necessary connectivity options.
Another highlight is the presence of a large 3930 mAH capacity battery. It can even charge rapidly using the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology. Unlike, a lot of other phones HTC has added a large battery as a trade-off for thinness. I think it is a good thing. Even if it is a slightly thick and heavy, you won’t have battery related issues with this device.
HTC U11 Plus costs a lot of money, Rs. 56,990. Undoubtedly, it comes with a plethora of features some gimmicky while others are useful. HTC has taken care of basics and even offering some advanced features.
Major Pros for HTC U11 Plus
- Great Design and Display.
- Good Camera.
- Great Battery Life.
- Fast Performance.
- Latest Bloat Free OS.
- Great Sound.
- Tons of features.
What Could Have Been Better in the U11 Plus?
- Super AMOLED Display.
- Dual Cameras or portrait mode like Pixel 2.
- Face ID like the iPhone X.
- In-Display Fingerprint Scanner.
HTC U 11 Plus is a great phone but somehow it still feels like it is catching up with the competition and what is already there in the market. As mentioned above these are a couple of cutting-edge technology advancements that we are looking for in 2018.
Undoubtedly, the phone ticks a lot right boxes, but at the same time, it is expensive as the Samsung, Google or Apple phones. Having said that, it is a good phone and it boils down to personal preference which flagship you wish to buy. Or if you want to wait two more months Samsung S9 and S9 plus are around the corner.
Top of the Line HTC Phone Goes on Sale
Recently, HTC launched their 2017 flagship, HTC U11, at an enticing price tag of Rs 51,990. They’ve surprised me by releasing their highest variant; (6GB + 128GB), in the Indian market that too at a very reasonable price. I was expecting around 55k to 60K, as HTC and pricing don’t go well together.
Also, HTC recently launched the VR headset in India for a ridiculous price of Rs. 92,999.
Moreover, the phone is pleasantly less expensive than the recently launched Samsung’s S8 Plus (6 GB variant) available for Rs. 74,999. Or the Sony XZ Premium that retails for Rs. 59,999.
Notably, the HTC U11 will be available via Amazon and offline retail shops. You can easily pre-order the Amazing Silver/ Brilliant Black colored U11 from 17th June.
Launch offers: Starting from June 26th, people purchasing the U11 with their Standard Chartered Credit/Debit cards can receive 10% cash-back offer as well. Also, the customers wanting to buy the phone from HTC’s official site can get a Flip Cover worth Rs 1,999, absolutely for free!
HTC was known for innovation once, they were first at doing many things including launching the world’s First 4G Phone. However, in last few years they have been able to compete, neither in technology nor at pricing. Although with U11 things are moving in the right direction.
HTC has said that the U11 sales are better in comparison to their previous flagship phones and they are positive about the phone getting good consumer feedback globally.
HTC U11 Specifications and Features
The all-new U11 comes with “Liquid Surface” design concept similar to the U Ultra and U-Play, released back in Jan 2017.
The design looks distinguishing with a highly polished and reflective glass back cover. Notably, HTC is not joining the voguish “Bezel-less” display phones. Instead, it flaunts the regular 5.5-inch QHD display with the usual 16:9 ratio.
Further, the display is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5.0. It runs on the fastest processor in the market – Snapdragon 835 coupled with Adreno 540 GPU. Additionally, the processor is paired with massive 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, which can further be upgraded to 2TB using the micro SD card.
Also, the U11 ships with Android N v7.1.1 with Sense UI on top. Since the HTC 10, HTC is keeping the software minimal and close to stock Android without losing the “HTC Sense” important features.
For imaging, the U11 offers a single 12 MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, 1.4micron pixel, ultra-speed autofocus, OIS and dual LED flash. Unfortunately, they’ve removed the laser autofocus feature, present on the HTC 10.
On the other hand, the front side has a 16 MP selfie shooter with BSI sensor and recording upto 1080P.
The camera app is user-friendly and comes with a full-fledged manual mode, HDR boost, Panorama, and Hyperlapse. The U11 received a commendable score of 90 by DxOmark, making it the highest rated smartphone camera out there. Notably, the Google Pixel scores 89 and Samsung S8 scores 88.
Powering the phone is a sizeable 3000 mAh battery same as the HTC 10. It even comes with the Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 to offer fast charging support.
Special Features HTC U11
The U11 comes with its own AI called “Sense companion.” It provides the users with timely alerts and messages when needed. Apparently, it takes a week or so, for the AI to recommend things, based on your usage.
Instead of providing a dedicated button for app/gesture shortcuts. HTC has come up with a genius idea of embedding pressure sensors on the sides of the phone. There are total 8 sensors, (4 on each side); allowing the users to either “short squeeze” or “hard squeeze” to activate any gesture or an app. It’s totally customizable and can be used to open the camera, Google assistant, or even take a screenshot. The list is endless and HTC has promised to add more options in the future updates.
Similar to the U Ultra, the U11 has ditched the 3.5 mm audio jack and now uses the modern USB type-C port. What’s more, the phone comes with IP 67 rating with dust/water resistance feature.
In the box, you will find the phone, charger, USB cable, a clear hard case, microfiber cloth, type-C to 3.5 mm adapter and the all-new earphones with active noise cancellation.
Unlike, other noise-canceling headphones, these don’t require an additional power source. In fact, they use the power from the phone. HTC have significantly improved the output from the dual speaker setup and is certainly much louder and clear than the HTC 10 itself.
HTC have significantly improved the output from the dual speaker setup and is louder and clear than the HTC 10. The HTC U 11 does a lot of things right and is definitely a good smartphone with top of the line hardware and camera without obtuse pricing.
HTC launched both the smartphones in India on 21st February 2017, while both the devices were unveiled globally on 13 January 2017. The U Ultra was priced at Rs 59,000 and the U-Play was Priced at Rs. 39,000 now both the smartphones have got a price cut.
HTC U Ultra and U-Play went on sale in the month of March and April and within a month both the smartphones have got a price cut. It is irrational and absurd for the brand to launch the smartphones first at astronomical prices while knowing they don’t stand a chance against competition and then offer massive price cuts.
In fact, it is worse for their loyal fans who buy the device at launch and after a month when the price cut happens, realize they should have waited. Samsung used to do this a lot till Samsung S7, but they kept the price the same for almost 6 months. Apple also mostly maintains the launch price.
The U Ultra was priced at Rs 59,000 and the U-Play was Priced at Rs. 39,000 now both the smartphones have got a price cut.
The HTC U-Play is now available at Rs. 29,000 while the HTC U Ultra is retailing at Rs. 50,900. You can read more details below about the HTU U Play, U-Ultra launch, features, and specs.
HTC U Play
HTC U-Play is the smaller smartphone HTC unveiled today. The smartphone comes with more Humble specs and will have a lower price compared to the U Ultra.
The HTC U Play comes with an FHD 1080P resolution display and has a 5.2-inch display which offers 401 PPI screen density.
The smartphone comes with Helio P10 Octa-Core processor clocked at 1.8 GHz. The smartphone will be available in 2 variants 3 GB Ram and 32 GB storage and the second variant comes with 4 GB Ram and 64 Gb storage space. The internal storage is expandable up to 2 TB using the micro sd card.
The rear camera comes with 16 Megapixel lens and has optical image Stabilisation. The camera comes with BSI sensor, F/2.0 aperture, and Dual Led flash.
The front camera is also decent and offers 16 Megapixel resolution, a treat for the shutterbugs.
The smartphone comes with USB Type-C port, Fingerprint scanner, and 4 G VOLTE connectivity.
HTC U-Play has 2500 mAH battery capacity which also looks mediocre considering other specs of the device. The smartphone weighs 145 grams and has 7.99 mm thickness.
Though it is always difficult to price it cheaper for brands like HTC, Sony and LG we wrote about that in a related article – Being HTC and LG is Hard In Fiercely Competitive Smartphone World.
HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play went on sale in India on 6th March 2017.
Pricing – The HTC U Ultra is launched at an MRP of Rs 59,990 which is at par with the Google Pixel smartphone. However, HTC has kept the price of U-Play at Rs. 39990. Both the smartphones will be available in 4 colors – Blue, Pink, White and deep black.
HTC U Ultra
Let’s get to the basic specs of U Ultra. HTC U Ultra is the flagship device which comes with a large Dual display, there is 5.7-inch display, protected with Gorilla Glass 5 and comes with IPS LCD 5 display with Quad HD resolution (2560*1440). Above the main display, there is a tiny 2.0-inch panel with 1040×160 pixels resolution.
It is quite similar to the LG V20 tickle display. The small display shows notifications, weathers and other information. The smartphone comes with 64 GB or 128 GB of internal storage.
The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core 821 processor clocked at
2.1 GHz. It comes with 4 GB of Ram for both 64 GB and 128 GB variants. The storage can be expanded to 2 TB using the micro sd card.
The smartphone has a fingerprint scanner at the front embedded in the Home button.
The smartphone comes with a 12 MP rear camera with 1.55-micron lens with ultra pixels to absorb more light. The camera is accompanied by laser autofocus and supports 4K video recording with Optical Image Stabilisation and Dual Led flash.
There is a 16 ultra pixel front camera to click selfies.
The smartphone comes with NFC, USB Type C, 4G VOLTE and dual sim support. The device has 3000 mAH battery capacity which seems small considering screen size, though it has support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
The HTC ultra weighs 170 grams and has a thickness of 7.9 mm.
Let’s Check some of the best Features for the HTC U Ultra and HTC U-Play.
Best Features for HTC U Ultra and U Play
HTC Sense Companion – The smartphones are futuristic as they come with HTC sense companion, a new AI ( artificial intelligence) assistant. The Sense companion can help you remember when to charge your phone, offer app recommendations and even suggest restaurants in an area you are visiting. The sense companion is another version of we can say Siri or Google Assist, Honor AI we have seen on the Honor Magic.
3.5mm Jack – The smartphone also skip the conventional 3.5 mm jack and use the USB type C port for music, like the iPhone 7, Moto Z and HTC Bolt.
Liquid Surface Design – The third major change is the design, gone is the supreme metallic built, replaced with a glass and metal design, similar to the Samsung S7. The rear glass design is referred as liquid surface glass design. It looks quite glossy and slippery, even more than the S7 edge.
HTC U-Sonic – The last notable feature is the U-Sonic which adapts to your listening behaviour and offers incredible sound experience by adjusting the playback based on the inner shapes of ears using an ultrasonic sound technology. I told you HTC have made futuristic smartphones.
HTC OneX 10 Price Specs and Details
HTC has launched the new HTC mobile today, and it comes with a large 4000 mAH battery. The new HTC One X10 is the successor of the HTC One X9 that was launched last year in May. HTC is using a new design for the new phone that is even unique in comparison to the recent HTC One X9.
Let’s get into details and see what the new HTC phone has to offer to HTC fans.
For starters, it comes with a premium metallic design which HTC claims can withstand low height falls. Moreover, it is made of toughened metal which protects the phone from any wear and tear.
HTC has said that it has been subjected to hundreds of hours of heat testing and even has undergone several scratch tests with different metals to make sure that it is highly durable.
Colors and Fingerprint Scanner
As shown in pictures, it comes with the matte black finish and arctic silver colors. Unlike the HTC 10, it comes with a fingerprint scanner at the back with a self-learning algorithm that makes it faster and more accurate over a period.
Also, HTC has integrated the quick camera launch function in the fingerprint reader.
There is a 5.5 Inch display with 1920*1080 pixels resolution that offers 401 PPi. Also, it has a 2.5D curved glass on top of the display for a more pleasing look. Additionally, it comes with Corning Gorilla Glass coating to prevent scratches.
Let’s talk about the performance of the new HTC device. It comes with the MediaTek Helio P10 processor which is not a big upgrade in comparison to the Helio X10 found in the last years HTC One X9.
Besides, it comes with same 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage expandable up to 2 TB using the micro SD card slot.
For photography, it comes with an incredible 16 Megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and 26 mm lens.
The camera comes with a PRO mode where you get an option to save the settings you are shooting to use as required. Also, it can shoot RAW photos.
The camera lacks 4K video recording feature which was present on the HTC One X9.
The front camera is better and now comes with 8 Megapixel lens that comes with a larger pixel size and f/2.2 aperture and 23 mm focal length.
Also, it comes with some handy features like auto selfie on smile and voice command for clicking selfies.
HTC is boasting of a 2-day battery life with the new One X10 that comes with 4000 mAH Battery capacity. It is significantly more than most HTC phones and even the One X9.
Additionally, it offers fast charging support and a super stamina mode to increase the battery life.
The new HTC phone comes with Android OS and HTC Sense. HTC has not made it clear whether it will ship with the Android Nougat out of the box or will get an OTA update.
Moreover, it comes with 4G LTE as well as VOLTE support and even has Bluetooth 4.2 and WIFI support.
The pure metallic, 4000 mAH mobile is not the lightest thing, it weighs 175 grams and has a thickness of 8.23 mm.
HTC phones usually come with impressive sound technologies and the new offering is no different. It comes with HTC Boom Sound profile for the headphones but lacks the boom sound speakers found on the predecessor.
Availability and Pricing
It costs $335 or Rs. 22,500 which is not too high considering HTC standards. So far, it is available in Russia and is likely to launch in other markets including India in the coming days.
HTC had mild success with their flagship HTC 10 in 2016. Not much has clicked for HTC for quite a long time. They recently launched HTC Bolt that too without much thought for buyers, as it ships with a dated Snapdragon 810 processor and absurdly priced close to the HTC 10.
HTC has recently launched the new HTC U11 Plus, the flagship device that offers incredible camera quality and rivals the Google Pixel 2 XL.
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