4/22/2009 11:49:00 AM
HTC targets Samsung strategy with new MD
HTC is aiming for Samsung’s territory after the appointment of new managing director Jon French.
French (pictured), who was among the most senior people at Samsung UK behind Mark Mitchinson, will be charged with building HTC’s brand and market share in the UK and Europe by increasing distribution and raising consumer awareness.
He will join HTC as country manager of the UK and Ireland, replacing acting country head Dave Catt, who took the reins after Paul Ghent left the role for a job at Palm in January 2009.
Catt said: ‘HTC is probably in a similar situation to Samsung a few years ago, so if he [French] does the same thing here we’ll all be very happy. Coming from Samsung, he was there at the start.’
Catt added that talks on direct relationships with retailers such as Phones 4u, Carphone Warehouse and JAG Communications are still ‘ongoing’.
‘It’s very positive, he will enhance the personality of HTC UK – his relationships with all the networks and customers are very strong.’
HTC has increased its marketing spend by 30% in a bid to raise its brand profile with the consumer. The manufacturer has continued to expand its indirect channel routes with its sole distributor, Brightpoint. The pair launched a channel partner programme in June 2008, which now has 79 partners.
The traditionally white-label manufacturer, which has strong links with Microsoft, hopes to break into the consumer market in May with its second Android phone.
The Vodafone HTC Magic will be branded with HTC, unlike its previous Android phone, the T-Mobile G1.
Catt said: ‘It will be the first time we’ve mainstreamed consumer
products into Vodafone, it’s a bit like getting married for the first time, we’re courting.’