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HTC and Samsung Introduce Mid-Tier Smartphones to Taiwan

HTC (TPE: 2498) and Samsung (KRX: 005930) both introduced its new low-cost mid-tier smartphones to Taiwan on Feb. 9.

HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, introduced the Desire 626, which is equipped with a 5-inch HD 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage capacity, a 13-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and 4G LTE connectivity.

HTC North Asia President Jack Tong (董俊良) described Desire 626 as a feature-rich model at a low price. Without revealing the deal date for its debut, Tong said that the new mid-tier smartphone will be available later this month at US$190 each, and it will target budget-conscious and young consumers.

“We hope that our total sale volume and market share will see significant growth this year,” Tong said.

Tong said that HTC had the highest share in each of the US$483-US$645, US$322-US$483 and US$161-US$322 phone segments in Taiwan last year, and that the company is planning to extend its success to the lower price band this year. He said that HTC is targeting a 25% share of the sub-US$161 phone segment in 2015, which will translate into an estimated 375,000 units of phone sales for HTC and boost the company’s overall market share in Taiwan by 5%.

Samsung Galaxy E7 (Photo Courtesy of Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy E7 (Photo Courtesy of Samsung)

For Samsung, HTC’s Korean rival, the new Galaxy E7 is the weapon to compete with HTC’s Desire 626.

The Galaxy E7 is Samsung’s first mid-range smartphone which comes along with a 5.5-inch display and a price tag of US$317.

The E7 also marks Samsung’s latest foray into the sub-US$322 price band, as Taiwanese smartphones priced between US$161 and US$322 accounted for about 33% of total sales last year, up from 24%.

“Samsung is a pioneer of 5.5-inch smartphones,” said Andy Tu (杜偉昱), general manager for Samsung Taiwan’s mobile communication team. “We are aiming to provide a full range of products before the Lunar New Year holiday.”

In addition to the Galaxy E7, Samsung also introduced the Galaxy E5 and the Galaxy Grand Max. The 5.25-inch Grand Max will go on sale later this month at US$257, while the price of the 5-inch E5 will be announced at a later date.