Pre-orders for the New HTC One -- Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp.'s latest flagship model -- have surpassed the company's original target, according to local media reports.
The reports quoted HTC executives as saying that the company is launching a marketing blitz in preparation for the start of sales of the New HTC One in Taiwan later this month and in other markets around the world in early April.
With an ambitious aim to reclaim its lead in Taiwan's smartphone market, HTC has decided to double its marketing budget for the first half of this year, the reports said.
The announcement, which came on the heels of rival Samsung's introduction of its feature-rich Galaxy S IV in New York Thursday, signals that the battle in the non-Apple or Android-based smartphone market is increasingly intensifying, the reports said.
Meanwhile, media reports said Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is coming to Taiwan, a move that is expected to make Taiwan the U.S. e-commerce giant's major base to expand its digital content sales in the Chinese-speaking world.
According to the reports, Amazon has acquired National Communications Commission (NCC) certification for three of its Kindle Fire models -- Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9.
If all goes well, Amazon will begin selling its Kindle Fire tablets in Taiwan in the near future.
Amazon, known for its ability to provide both hardware and software products, has been selling its tablets at a loss but makes up for it with the digital content it offers on its websites.
Up until now, Amazon mainly operates North America-focused websites. While Taiwanese consumers can register accounts on Amazon websites to buy its e-books, they have no access to buy low-priced Kindle Fire tablets.
The following are excerpts from local media coverage of HTC's new marketing strategy and Amazon's plan to sell Knidle Fire in Taiwan:
Economic Daily News:
HTC has thrown down the gauntlet against Samsung to regain its leading position in Taiwan's smartphone market.
"If we cannot reclaim our leadership status in our home market, we would deserve a good spanking," HTC chief marketing officer Ben Ho said in Taipei Friday.
In an unprecedented move, HTC sent marketing staff to distribute free hot DO YOU MEAN HOT? drinks to consumers who were lining up to enter New York City's Radio City Music Hall Thursday to attend Samsung's unveiling of its new champion in the smartphone war.
HTC also invited journalists and Samsung Galaxy fans to experience its latest version of the HTC One smartphone and offered them US$100-worth discount coupons for updating their HTC handsets.
"We have never done so in the past. Now we are determined to take bolder marketing and advertising strategies to publicize merits and advantages of our smartphones," Ho said, adding that HTC will offer as many opportunities as possible for consumers to experience its products.
Ho said its latest New York marketing blitz has successfully attracted media attention and thus enhanced the New HTC One's media exposure.
With tech-savvy consumers as its main target, Ho said, HTC will hereafter largely increase the ratio of online advertising from the previous 10 percent to 40 percent.
Moreover, online ad programs will be broadcast for up to 24 weeks from four to five weeks in the past, Ho said, adding that all ad programs will focus on the New HTC One's blinkfeed, ZOE and boomsound functions.
"Our ad programs will also feature bold, authentic and playful themes of our products," he added.
HTC will partner with nearly 200 telecom carriers around the world in selling its New HTC One smartphones.
Although HTC has suffered some setbacks in the New HTC One shipments due to short supplies of metal casings and camera lenses, Ho said, such parts supplies will become increasingly smooth by mid-April. (March 16, 2013).
Local publishers said Amazon.com Inc. has quietly set up a foothold in Taiwan after encountering bottlenecks in its foray into the vast Chinese market due to Beijing's strict control of the publishing industry.
Amazon has not only offered high pay to recruit trained editorial personnel but has also bought copyrights for many Chinese-language e-books.
Now that Amazon has obtained NCC certification of its three Kindle Fire tablet models, local publishing industry sources said, the company is expected to begin its onslaught on Taiwan's e-book market soon.
Given its strength in delivering both hardware and software products and services, Amazon may seize a big slice of the local e-book market, the sources forecast. (March 16, 2013).
(By Sofia Wu)