BANGALORE, INDIA: Taiwan-based HTC was the first mobile company to introduce a touch screen device in India in June 2007 – the HTC Touch. At present, the company has a portfolio of 17 handsets in India, of which 15 devices are touch screen based and nine of them feature the company's groundbreaking HTC TouchFLO interface.
Ajay Sharma, country head of HTC India, talks about the company's key products, its focus in developing exciting mobile interfaces in an exclusive interview with CIOL's Sharath Kumar. Excerpts:
CIOL: How is HTC doing in the increasingly competitive touch screen mobile market?
Ajay Sharma: As per estimates, HTC presently has a market share of around 20 per cent in the segment of mobile devices above the Rs. 10000 price point. Close to 90 per cent of HTC’s portfolio consist of touchscreen enabled devices, and they contribute over 95 per cent of our total sales.
HTC already has a touchscreen device, the HTC P3400i, which is priced around Rs. 10,000 and the HTC Touch Viva, which is priced at Rs. 13,000. We do recognize that India is a price conscious market where pricing plays a very important role. Therefore, we are pro-actively working towards introducing phones with lesser price so that they can be within the reach of an increasing number of people in India.
CIOL: How successful has been HTC's TouchFLO interface, according to you?
AS: HTC’s devices integrate innovation and simplicity with a unique style and an intuitive interface. The latest HTC devices incorporate the latest three-dimensional ‘TouchFLO 3D’ interface. TouchFLO 3D provides animated access to people, messaging, email, photos, music, weather and more.
The TouchFLO 3D has been more deeply integrated into a customized version of Windows Mobile 6.1 to deliver more consistency throughout Windows Mobile applications and menus. Focused on making navigation easier and more intuitive, TouchFLO 3D brings important information to the top-level user interface, including quick access to people, messaging, email, photos, music and weather. As part of this improved Windows Mobile integration the touch focus areas have been enlarged to be more finger-touch friendly.
CIOL: How has been the customers' response to your new products?
AS: Our proprietary TouchFLO interface has gained huge popularity and has garnered very good reviews from all quarters. Touch screen devices have come a long way from the initial stylus-based basic feature devices to add more stylish features of today like gesture recognition, finger swiping, handwriting recognition etc.
The displays are also getting bigger and better. Thus, touch screens are rapidly gaining acceptance among mobile phone users in India and the future also holds great promise for such devices.
CIOL: Tel us something about your R&D team.
AS: Currently, HTC India does not have an R&D team. However, more than 25 per cent of HTC’s global workforce are in the Research and Development team which amply demonstrates our commitment to innovation and technology. HTC's global headquarters and R&D center is located in Taoyuan, Taiwan, which has a number of state-of-the-art R&D laboratories that are staffed by high-end design team and engineers.