Taipei-Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. has introduced a new entry level phone -- the Desire 19s -- hoping to capitalize on the peak consumer spending season at the end of the year.
The new phone, which HTC unveiled on Thursday, is equipped with a 6.2-inch touch screen and in-plane switching (IPS) technology, and has a resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9.
The Desire 19s is the latest model of HTC's low-budget Desire series and carries a price tag of NT$5,990 (US$197), a price suggesting that HTC may be positioning the phone as an option for the government when buying phones for civil servant use.
According to HTC, the Desire 19s is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 processor and runs a 3850mAh battery, comes in a single 3GB + 32GB storage option, and is available in two colors -- blue and black.
Whether the phone will help the brand get out of its earnings rut remains to be seen.
Although HTC on Wednesday announced that its gross margin for the third quarter rose for the seventh consecutive quarter, it still reported a quarterly loss for the 16th time in 17 quarters.
The only time HTC has reported a quarterly profit since the first quarter of 2015 was in 2018 Q1, when its bottom line benefited from the sale of its smartphone ODM assets to Google.
HTC reported that its gross margin -- the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold -- rose to 22.9 percent in the third quarter, up 2.6 percentage points from the second quarter.
But HTC still posted a net loss of NT$2.36 billion in the quarter, or a net loss per share of NT$2.86, compared with a net loss of NT$3.18 per share the same period a year earlier.
In the first three quarters of 2019, HTC posted a loss per share of NT$8.55, according to the company.
HTC said that while it has been squeezed by fierce competition in the global smartphone market, its gross margin continued to improve on the back of its efforts to develop virtual reality technology.
HTC said its move to appoint telecom veteran Yves Maitre as its CEO in September aimed to help the company continue its efforts in VR development and improve its product mix.
Before joining HTC, Maitre served as executive vice president of consumer equipment and partnership at Orange, one of the world's largest telecom firms, for more than 14 years.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel