Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Taiwan’s HTC Corp. said Thursday that its production capacity for its new HTC One flagship phone is rising sharply month by month as its component supply issues continue to improve.
Jack Tong, president of HTC North Asia, said the company’s production capacity for its newest smartphone, a 4.7-inch model that was unveiled Feb. 19, will double in May from the previous month and will rise further in June in order to meet strong demand.
“Our capacity is expected to rise significantly starting from mid-May,” he said at a news conference at which the company announced its sponsorship of Cirque du Soleil’s new show. “We are optimistic about our high-end sales during April and June.”
HTC, which faces stiff competition from its bigger rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc., reported revenues of NT$42.8 billion (US$1.43 billion) during the January-March quarter, a 29 percent drop from the previous quarter and a 37 percent annual decrease.
The company said the lower-than-forecast revenue in the first quarter was due to delayed shipments of its new flagship HTC One in certain markets.
Tong said another growth engine for HTC’s second-quarter revenue will be its 5-inch HTC Butterfly, which has seen sales increase by as much as 50 percent in Japan this month since its on-contract price there was cut to zero two weeks ago.
The company also plans to release updates for the Butterfly by the end of this month, enabling several built-in software features that are on the new HTC One, such as the Sense 5.0 user interface, the BlinkFeed live-streaming home screen and the slide show function for the camera, Tong said.
Known as the HTC J Butterfly in Japan, the 5-inch model has been customized with waterproofing and electronic wallet functions for Japanese consumers, in collaboration with KDDI Corp., Japan's second-largest cellular operator.
The HTC J Butterfly was ranked 9th in the period May 6-12 in a weekly survey conducted by BCN Inc., a Tokyo-based research firm that tracks retail sales of consumer items in Japan.
The model was released in Japan in early December and enjoyed brisk sales, entering BCN's top 10 mobile phone rankings in the week Dec. 17-23. But it soon fell from the rankings due to production shortages, according to industry analysts.
The phone was 13th in BCN's monthly sales ranking in March, and 12th in February. It returned to the top 10 list in the week April 15-21 and has since stayed in the rankings.
(By Jeffrey Wu)