2/4/2009 1:04:00 PM
HTC to sell directly through multiple retailers
HTC is in talks with Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u and JAG to sell directly through multiple retailers, as it prepares to boost its marketing budget by 30%.
The manufacturer has also extended its exclusive distribution deal with Brightpoint until April 2010 – a one year extension on the previous agreement.
HTC’s head of retail and distribution for the UK and Ireland – and current acting country manager for the UK and Ireland – Dave Catt, said: ‘We’ve been engaging with Carphone, Phones 4u and JAG over selling directly through them. As with all manufacturers, we need to keep our options open as to how we bring our products to the market.’
HTC was previously little more than a white label manufacturer for operator-branded smartphones, but spent 2008 trying to build its own brand with devices such as the HTC Touch Diamond.
Catt said HTC will lift its marketing kitty by 30% to ‘improve customer awareness’. He added: ‘At the moment, we haven’t got as strong awareness as our European colleagues because the UK is very network orientated. You need to be bullish in a marketplace like this.’
Catt also said the manufacturer is ‘pleased with the job Brightpoint
has done’. He added: ‘The model that we’ve got with them is working very successfully. Brightpoint are growing in the data space and we see their reach increasing.’
HTC will concentrate on the Android platform in 2009. Catt said: ‘It’s an interesting market because it’s brand new and no-one knows about it, so there’s a double education to be done – one with our partners and the other for the end user. We feel that being the first manufacturer in that space gives us a big advantage.’