HTC and Carphone Warehouse have inked a strategic partnership that will see the manufacturer increase its involvement in the retailer’s Go to Market strategy, well placed sources told Mobile this week.
HTC has become one of a small number of partners to be handed the new role of ‘category captain’ at Carphone. This will give the Taiwanese manufacturer closer contact with the retailer in return for extra time and investment in its own strategic development.
The move comes after HTC sales overtook Samsung for the first time in the retailer’s history during the last quarter. HTC already has a direct distribution deal with Carphone.
The manufacturer will now have greater involvement in Carphone’s Go to Market strategy, providing information about brand level demand and recommending a store level sales strategy including shelf space assignments, promotion and pricing.
A Carphone source said the increase in HTC sales was driven by its focus on Android, ‘which appears to be paying dividends’. Another source added that HTC was ‘gaining strategic importance’ within the business.
A manufacturer source said: ‘It’s a partnership in which the two are aligned and will grow the business together. It’s an agreement or understanding between two parties to work together more closely from top to bottom.’
Meanwhile, analyst figures seen by Mobile reveal that Apple’s 16G iPhone 4 took the biggest overall share (15%) across all operators during the first weeks of November. It was followed by the Blackberry Curve 8500 (8.5%), and the Nokia N8 (4.8%). The HTC Desire was in sixth position with 4.1% of sales.
Carphone has made no secret of its allegiance to Android. The retailer’s CCO Graham Stapleton told Mobile this week that Android, which is currently the second biggest selling operating system globally, is likely to become the best selling across the Group.
He said: ‘Customers are saying they want Android it's a mass market operating system. Android is popular because you can personalise it across a large variety of handsets and price points - so we support Android.’