HTC launches assault on Myanmar’s mobile market

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 January, 2013, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 January, 2013, 2:42pm


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Taiwan’s leading smartphone maker HTC opened its first store in Myanmar on Monday, seeking a foothold in one of Asia’s last remaining untapped markets.

The shop was inaugurated in Yangon by HTC chief executive fficer Peter Chou, an ethnic Chinese who was born and raised in the Southeast Asian country, company officials said.

HTC’s phones use a Myanmese font and the company says they can be used “straight out of the box”.

The move comes as global corporate giants from Coca-Cola to General Electric line up to enter the impoverished, but resource-rich, nation, which is emerging from decades of military rule and international isolation.

In a report released in March last year, analysts Nomura Research said Myanmar was “one of the last untapped telco markets in the region”, with government plans to increase mobile penetration by 50 per cent by 2015.

While challenged by Apple and Samsung in mature markets, HTC had been turning to emerging markets, including China, analysts said.

But they say it is no easy task, citing challenges from China’s telecom giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE, which have grabbed a huge slice of the world’s low-priced markets.

HTC in December unveiled Butterfly, its first smartphone featuring a high-resolution, five-inch screen.

HTC sells its own smartphones and also makes handsets for a number of leading US companies, including Google’s Nexus One.