Taipei, Taiwan-based HTC Corp. is set to put its latest midrange model -- the U12 Life -- for sale in Taiwan in mid-October.
According to Darren Chen (???), head of HTC Taiwan, the U12 Life will be available in two colors -- Twilight Purple and Moonlight Blue -- but HTC remained tight-lipped about the pricing for the new model.
Market insiders said the U12 Life is expected to carry a price tag of about NT$10,000 (US$325), so the model is aimed at taking on competition from other midrange models such as Xiaomi's Hongmi Note 5 and the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
In addition, as Huawei Technologies and OPPO have also launched their own midrange models in Taiwan, the U12 Life is expected to compete with them.
Chen said it is the right time for HTC to launch the new midrange model, as local telecom operators are competing with each other by lowering their monthly service fees, so that a more affordable smartphone is expected to help telecom service providers to strengthen their bottom lines.
Chen said telecom operators here could favor a phone priced between NT$7,000 and NT$12,000.
According to HTC, the U12 Life will be powered by Qualcomm Inc.'s octacore Snapdragon 636 processor and equipped with a six-inch full screen in an 18:9 ratio along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage, plus a microSD support to expand its storage.
The U12 Life also includes a dual-camera setup comprising a 16 megapixel sensor and a 5 megapixel sensor at the rear, with a 13 megapixel camera on the front, HTC said.
It has been speculated that HTC will outsource production of the U12 Life in a bid to lower production costs. The company declined to comment on the speculation but said HTC is determined to invest manpower to put the phone on the market.
In early July, HTC announced a lay-off of 1,500 employees, or about a quarter of its global payroll, by the end of September to optimize the company's resources through a "strategic adjustment of its workforce."
Analysts said it remains to be seen whether the new midrange model will give a real boost to HTC sales, as the company still faces stiff competition in the global smartphone market.
HTC reported consolidated sales of NT$1.4 billion for July, down 77.41 percent from a year earlier and 37.26 percent from a month earlier. The July figure was the lowest since August 2003, when the company's revenue was NT$1.33 billion.
In the first seven months of the year, HTC's consolidated sales were down 53.98 percent year-on-year at NT$16.96 billion.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel