Taiwanese major HTC is set to re-enter India’s smartphone market under a new brand licensee agreement with China-based Inone Technology, according to a PTI report. The company had silently closed its India operations last year following the exit of its South Asia and country head Faisal Siddiqui.
The HTC U11 and HTC U11+ were HTC’s last big launches in India, which were followed up by a couple of mid-rangers called the HTC Desire 12 and HTC Desire 12+.
"HTC is making a comeback to India after a gap of more than a year and is set to launch a new flagship series in next few days. It is set to offer many firsts in the smartphone industry with the new launch in line with its legacy of firsts," the report quotes an unnamed source as saying.
HTC’s comeback in India will be sort of like BlackBerry. In that, it has partnered with Inone Technology to market and sell its soon-to-launch products - BlackBerry phones are similarly sold (and made) in India through Optiemus. Inone is also known to manufacture smartphones but it’s not clear if it’s going to do that in the case of HTC’s comeback phones.
"Inone Technology is the brand licensee for HTC in India. It is headquartered in Shenzhen (China) with presence in India and many other countries and is known for its smartphone manufacturing and retail business. HTC will sell its new device in India through Inone.”
HTC has been a pioneer of smartphone design. At a time when plastic seemed the normal, HTC was churning out gorgeous all-metal unibody slabs, something that even inspired the iPhone. But down the line, HTC was simply unable to capitalize on its design genius even as rivals started to catch up, beating it to its own game. Then of course there was HTC’s fascination for launching only premium phones, phones that would compete directly with the Galaxys and iPhones of the world. And in the greater scheme of things, HTC phones like the HTC U11, even though they were proper flagships, they simply failed to outrank premier competition.
That said, the sparkling history that HTC brings with it, can’t be denied. It would be interesting to see how HTC plans to go about its smartphone business in its second coming in India.