As its business slows and competition grows more fierce, what’s HTC to do?
Judging from the company’s latest announcement, a new “Vogue Edition” One smartphone that’s half the price of its new flagship phone, HTC is exploring the possibility of offering high-end hardware at cheaper prices.
The Vogue Edition One packs in all of the same hardware as HTC’s One M8 smartphone — you still get a 5-inch screen, a powerful processor, and a dual-lens camera — except it’s encased in plastic and sports last year’s One design.
But the real kicker is the price: Around $450 in China — almost half the price of the One M8.
That pricing is still a far cry from the popular sub-$200 phones from Xiaomi, or even the $300 Oppo OnePlus One, but this latest phone shows that HTC can dramatically reduce the price of its hardware if necessary. The only thing you have to give up is the metal case (which, admittedly, is one of the best aspects of the One line).
HTC is currently struggling to compete with Samsung’s marketing onslaught and the iPhone’s prestige. But if it managed to deliver specs that are similar to (or better than) Samsung and Apple’s latest phones at a fraction of the price, consumers may finally pay attention to HTC again.
At this point, HTC is only announcing the Vogue Edition One in China, but if it’s popular I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up in other markets.