HTC launches cheaper version of One M9+ to regain its momentum
HTC Corp. unveiled a cheaper version of its One M9+ flagship smartphone in Taiwan on Monday, hoping to regain momentum in its home market following the disappointing run of its three-month-old M9+ handset.
The One ME dual SIM will go on sale Saturday through HTC's online store in Taiwan at a starting price of NT$14,900 (US$459), 38 percent cheaper than the M9+ when it was launched locally in mid-May at NT$23,900.
The ME dual SIM, like the M9+, comes with a 5.2-inch 2K display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, a MediaTek Helio X10 octa- core 2.2GHz mobile processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a fingerprint scanner built into a home button on the front, a 20-megapixel main camera and support for up to 2TB of micro-SD external storage.
But several advanced features seen in the M9+, including an all-metal body design and a Duo camera depth sensor, have been removed from the ME dual SIM.
The ME dual SIM has been launched in mainland China and India to attract young and costconscious consumers, as highend Android models no longer drive sales amid increasing competition from budget phones made by Chinese brands such as Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Inc.
HTC overtook Apple Inc. to regain the title of Taiwan's largest smartphone vendor by sales volume in June with a 19.3 percent share, ahead of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. with 18.6 percent and Taiwan-based Asustek Computer Inc. with 17.9 percent, according to industry statistics.
The results were driven by mainly HTC's mid-tier models such as Desire 826 and Desire 626, the only two HTC phones listed among the top 10 bestselling smartphones in June, rather than the One M9+, the statistics showed.
HTC said on Aug. 12 that it had temporarily halted sales of the M9+ in the Netherlands as the company is investigating problems with the device that are reportedly linked to 4G LTE connectivity.