HTC has given a strong hint that it intends to focus on mid-range smartphones at the CES 2015 trade show. The Taiwanese company posted an image on Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo, which carried the not-particularly-cryptic message ‘Always Desire more’.
The Desire brand is currently used by HTC for its mid-range devices, whereas the manufacturer’s last two flagship handsets have been known as the HTC One (M7) and HTC One (M8).
HTC currently produces a number of Desire smartphones. Handsets such as the HTC Desire 816 and HTC Desire 820 both offer large screens and powerful hardware.
Unlike the metal-bodied HTC One flagships, the HTC Desire 816 and HTC Desire 820 rely on a plastic construction. These mid-range devices do not offer the same premium feel as their more expensive stablemates, but they are nonetheless very well built, despite the use of cheaper materials.
Although rumours have been circulating about the specs of HTC’s 2015 flagship – currently being referred to as the HTC Hima, or HTC One (M9) – it is not expected that it will launch at CES. The previous iterations of the HTC One were unveiled in March 2013 and March 2014, at standalone press events.
The fact that the ‘Always Desire more’ image was posted to a Chinese social network is noteworthy.
It is likely that 2015 will see a number of manufacturers launch handsets with high-end specs at relatively low price points, in China. This is a strategy that has served Xiaomi well, which in 2014 overtook Samsung to become the biggest-selling smartphone manufacturer in the country.
HTC has had to battle in order to return to profit, after recording its first ever loss. As a result, it probably will not pursue a low-cost strategy in China with quite the same vigour as rivals – such as Samsung – which are better able to withstand reduced margins.