HTC branded smartphone are back on shelf again, a year after HTC Corporation exited the smartphone business and sold the HTC licensing rights to Shenzen-based company InOne Technology. The first HTC smartphone made after the acquisition is named Wildfire X and it will be available in India from August 22 on Flipkart.com.
HTC is the third major brand to be brought back under a different leadership. Nokia brand name was sold to Finland based HMD Global in 2017 while BlackBerry smartphones are now sold by Singapore based Optiemus Infracom. Brands like HTC and Nokia still resonate strongly with the consumers for the quality they offered at one time and we have seen HMD Global cash on with the Nokia brand. However, it hasn’t worked in case for BlackBerry as the brand hasn’t seen any change in fortunes.
“HTC definitely has a brand recall. But again, the nostalgia and brand recall will only work in the beginning and will eventually fade. Everything will boil down to the product, price and the differentiation they will bring to the market," said Tarun Pathak , Associate Director, Counterpoint Research.
Pathak further adds that things worked out in favour for HMD Global from the beginning as they focused on their strengths like the build quality which Nokia phones have always been known for. Another differentiator for Nokia phones was the latest Android version upgrade they offered on their phones via the Android One partnership with Google.
Known for its premium smartphones, HTC will begin its second innings in the budget segment. The Wildfire X will retail at ₹12,999 for the 4GB and ₹9,999 for the 3GB variant and will be competing against the likes of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 Pro (starts at ₹13,999) and Realme 3 Pro ( ₹12,999).
The recent IDC quarterly tracker, also indicates that 78% of the smartphone shipped in India in Q2 209 were in under US$200 price segment, while US$200-300 is the fastest growing smartphone segment in India was with 105.2% YoY growth.
The HTC Wildfire has been designed for millennial and is evident in the new thin bezel design with the teardrop-shaped cutout at the top of the screen to accommodate the selfie camera. It gives the 6.22-inch display a screen to body ratio of over 88%. For photo buffs, the phone has three cameras on the rear—12 MP for regular shots, 8 MP with 8X hybrid zoom and 5 MP for enhancing depth of field, in addition to a single wide angle (86 degree) 8MP front camera. The smartphone runs Android 9, has a 3,300mAh battery and is powered by an unnamed 2GHz octa-core processor.