HTC changes tack with new Middle East model

Taiwanese mobile devices manufacturer supplements OEM model by launching own-brand products in region

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By  Published  November 30, 2006

Windows mobile devices manufacturer HTC has finally decided to launch its ownbranded products in the Middle East after years of operating as an OEM partner for other companies that sold its range of mobile devices under their name.

Florian Seiche, VP at HTC Europe and Middle East, claims the current rate of growth in the regional market makes it an ideal time to launch its smart mobility range. “With its strength as a vibrant, fast growing business hub for the region, Dubai presents an ideal opportunity for both the business world and consumers to benefit from our product range.”

HTC has revealed that the products are available at Dubai Duty Free and through a couple of distributors, including Link Retail Distribution and DanGard.

The company is now focusing its attention on launching a Dubai-based support centre in early 2007. It says the facility will offer product support to customers and form the backbone of a localised strategy that will also see HTC customise some of its devices.

Seiche denies that the step to launch its own products in the market will compromise its relationship with current partners that sell its devices in the region, claiming there is enough room in the market to support its strategy.

One partner that is likely to be monitoring the situation closely is Dubai-based i-mate which has invested heavily to develop the market for Windows-based devices.

Ironically, i-mate revealed earlier this year that it was looking to reduce its dependence on HTC by expanding its base of manufacturing partners.

Smart mobile device shipments climbed almost 12% year-on-year in EMEA to 7.3 million units during the third quarter of this year, according to UK-based analysts Canalys.

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