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Talk of the Day -- Samsung, Nokia, Huawei eyeing stakes in HTC?

2012/11/29 23:03:09

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. will reshuffle its board of directors next year. All of the board's five directors, two supervisors and two independent directors will be reelected.

Local media reports said that since HTC settled its patent disputes with Apple Inc. and signed a 10-year patent-sharing deal with the U.S. technology giant, HTC's upcoming management reshuffle has become a focus of attention on the international market.

Besides Taipei-based foreign institutional investors and local stock players, major rival smartphone makers such as Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE are also looking for HTC stakes as they believe such deals can facilitate their fight against Apple's market dominance, the reports said.

Although the Apple-HTC settlement reportedly would become invalid if either of the parties involved gets acquired by another party, rival smartphone makers believe that as long as their stakes in HTC are limited to 10 to 20 percent, their acquisition moves would allow them to collaborate with HTC in marketing new smartphone models while keeping the Apple-HTC patent deal intact.

Meanwhile, media reports said HTC will outpace Samsung in launching its high-end 5-inch flagship smartphone model M7 in Q1 next year.

Citing a research note by Daiwa Securities, the reports said HTC's M7 will hit stores earlier than Samsung's new handset by one month to two, which will help boost HTC's bottom line.

Latest market reports also said Apple has dominated the fast- growing tablet market in China, with iPad controlling a whopping 71.4 percent of table sales in China in the third quarter of this year.

As Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac will be launched worldwide Friday and online pre-orders for 27-inch iMac will begin simultaneously, Taiwanese companies in the supply chain, including assembler Quanta, plastic casing maker Hon Hai and precision spring maker Shin Zu Shing are expected to get a boost in their Q4 sales.

The following are excerpts from local media coverage of latest market developments in the technology sector:

Economic Daily News:

With HTC share prices at relatively low levels, market sources said those interested in gaining a seat on the company's board of directors need just spend about NT$2.1 billion (US$71.92 million) to acquire 1 percent of its total shares in circulation.

Given HTC's total capitalization of NT$218.1 billion, such an investment is lucrative, market analysts said.

Of the company's top 10 shareholders, five are foreign institutional investors. They have quietly increased their HTC share holdings in recent months, market sources said.

HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang and HTC CEO Peter Chou have also bought additional company shares in recent months while local big-time stock players have followed suit.

Since the beginning of this month, HTC share price has gained 21.33 percent. Its share rose 1.17 percent Thursday to close at NT$259.

HTC's main rivals Samsung, Nokia, ZTE and Huawei are also planning to acquire stakes in HTC, industry insiders said. Those companies are mulling the possibility of forming partnership with with HTC by acquiring 10 to 20 percent of HTC stakes and gaining seats on its board, the sources said.

If so, they can partner with HTC to market HTC-Samsung or HTC-Nokia or HTC-Huawei double brand handsets to expand their global market shares, industry analysts said. (Nov. 29, 2012).

Liberty Times:

After its new HTC J Butterfly/HTC Droid DNA smartphones with 5-inch display hit Japanese and American stores respectively earlier this month, the company is scheduled to release its new 5-inch flagship device, tentatively named M7 in February 2013.

The model will come with 5-inch screen and metal casing adn feature Android platform with Qualcomm quad-core processor.

Daiwa Securities forecast that HTC may be able to sell 3 million units of M7 in Q1 2013. Its overall Q1 sales are estimated at 8 million units, marking a 20 percent quarterly increase. (Nov. 29, 2012).

United Evening News:

Thanks to robust Black Friday sales in the United States, HTC Droid DNA has been well received there since its launch Nov. 23, latest market reports said.

Credit Suisse raised HTC's target price to NT$210 Thursday. (Nov. 29, 2012).

(By Sofia Wu)