Dubai: Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC expects to sell more than two million devices in the Middle East and Africa markets this year, registering a growth of 30 per cent compared to last year.

“We are growing when the regional market is heading south, especially in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” Nikitas Glykas, president of HTC Middle East and Africa, told Gulf News after unveiling two new mid-range devices — HTC Desire pro and Desire 10 lifestyle — on Sunday.

Total shipments in the Middle East and Africa totalled 23.9 million units for the second quarter, representing a 15.9 per cent slump when compared with the corresponding period in 2015.

“In the coming months, we expect HTC to be back on track with the Desire line. Even though the two models share a common design language, the specs and features differ,” he said.

“HTC is serious about smartphones. We secured the mid-range market with Desire lines but the sales of our premium device — HTC 10 — could have been better,” he said.

HTC has struggled to compete with Samsung and Apple on the high-end smartphone market but its Desire line has been hugely important to the company’s bottom line. “For us, the mid-range segment (Dh899-Dh1,499) is also important,” he said.

Both the 5.5-inch devices are made of plastic with a metal trim to give it a premium feel.

The Desire 10 pro is powered by MediaTek Helio P10 processor, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a 20MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, a 13MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture; and a fingerprint scanner.

Low-cost processor

The lifestyle version ditches the fingerprint scanner and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB or 3GB of RAM; 16GB or 32GB of storage, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera and 24-bit Hi-Res audio.

When asked why HTC went for low-cost MediaTek processor, Glykas said: “We went for MediaTek processor rather than Qualcomm processor not to cut cost but to suit our proposition. We have used MediaTek processor for our M9 Plus premium device”.

The pro model is more powerful than the lifestyle version.

The Desire 10 lifestyle will be rolled out from October 1 for Dh999 while the Desire 10 pro will be rolled out in the middle of November for Dh1,299 for 3GB RAM and Dh1,399 for 4GB RAM.


Factbox: 24-hour replacement warranty

HTC has unveiled a 24-hour repair service for HTC 10 from October 1, starting with the UAE and Saudi Arabia markets.

“If we are not able to repair the device in 24 hours, the customer gets a new device within the warranty period. But if a customer insists that he wants his own device, then he can collect it within five days,” Nikitas Glykas, president of HTC Middle East and Africa, told Gulf News.

HTC is the only smartphone manufacturer to offer two-year warranty plus a screen replacement, if broken, within six months.