Business | Technology

Three premium smartphones to be launched by end of April

HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and BlackBerry Q10 to make debut around the same time

  • By Naushad K Cherrayil; Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:51 April 10, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • From left: Samsung’s Galaxy S4, BlackBerry Q10 and the HTC One. According to Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s, the time is not ideal for HTC and BlackBerry to launch their models as Galaxy S4 will steal the limelight.

Dubai: Retailers and vendors in the UAE are gearing up for one of the biggest smartphone launches — HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and BlackBerry Q10 — will be launched almost at the same time.

All these flagship models are going to be launched by end of April or first week of May.

Samsung is holding an event for bloggers at Dubai Marina Yacht Club on Wednesday evening and an event for the media on April 24.

According to Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s, the time is not ideal for HTC and BlackBerry to launch their models as Galaxy S4 will steal the limelight.

The same thing happened last year. HTC One X and Galaxy S3 were launched almost at the same time, but Galaxy S3 did brisk business.

“We are awaiting some clearances on the shipments. The HTC One launch would be between April 25 and May 1,” Neeraj Seth, Senior Brand Communications Manager at HTC Middle East, told Gulf News.

BlackBerry was not available to comment on the launch of Q10 which has a Qwerty keyboard.

But according to industry experts Q10 would be launched by end of April or first week of May.

“This launch is crucial for BlackBerry and many people are waiting of the Qwerty model. If Q10 does not do well it would be bad for BlackBerry,” said Hamza Saleem, senior research analyst at IDC.

He said BlackBerry Z10 is not doing well.

Marketing

Saleem said that HTC did not sell many phones in the first quarter globally and their first-quarter profit announcement say it all. HTC profit was down 98 per cent compared to a year earlier.

“It is very difficult for HTC to compete with Samsung in marketing. They need to spend more on marketing. HTC’s phones are good and heavier than Galaxy S4 and everything depends on marketing,” Saleem said.

Panjabi said that HTC may do well with enthusiasts and with the new Ultrapixel camera technology and Blinkfeed Sense it can stand out.

“We are getting lot of dealer bookings for S4, much before the launch. We are not sure how much units we will be getting for the launch,” said Deepak Babani, CEO at Eros Group, sole distributor for Samsung phones in the UAE.

Babani sees no competition from HTC and Q10 for S4. Galaxy S4’s new software and hardware features are enough for S4 to take the crown.

“Samsung has created a name in the market for premium handsets and S4 is rated as the highest,” Saleem said.

 

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