By Tarmo Virki and Clare Jim
BARCELONA/TAIPEI Feb 26 Taiwan's HTC
, the world's No. 5 smartphone maker, launched a new
range of smartphone models on Sunday, hoping the fresh designs
will help it to recover some of the lost market share.
The new smartphones are crucial for HTC in a cut-throat
market place -- dominated by Samsung Electronics and
Apple Inc -- as lack of new, outstanding models has
sent its sales sinking over the last months.
The challenge for HTC, which was once the standard bearer
for the market-leading Google's Android operating
system, but dropped in global rankings last quarter, is to make
its Android devices stand out among dozens of similar models.
HTC unveiled three new models for the new HTC One range late
on Sunday, ahead of start of Mobile World Congress trade show in
"HTC One takes HTC to a new level," CEO Peter Chou said at a
All new models -- One X, One S and One V -- run the latest
version of Android software.
HTC said 144 mobile operators -- the widest carrier support
for the firm so far -- have agreed to carry HTC One range models
starting from April.
"The products look competitive, but HTC executives will be
looking over their shoulders nervously to see how these new
devices stack up against rival Android smartphones also being
announced at the show," said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS
The Taiwanese company said on earlier this month that it
anticipated a drop in revenue of as much as 36 percent for the
first quarter, well below analysts expectations. ID:nL4E8D653N]
The former contract maker had a fairytale ride in 2010 and
early 2011, when its shares more than tripled in the 14 months
to April 2011 and sales grew four-fold in 1-1/2 years as
consumers snapped up its innovative phones with their
distinctive large clock numerals.
But an equally rapid fall from grace saw its stock become
the worst performer among global smartphone companies last year,
down 42 percent.