HTC to customize One mini for different countries

Taiwanese phone maker hopes to expand its presence in the mid-tier phone market through agreement with local telcos for the smaller version of its flagship smartphone, HTC One mini.

Previous customizations have included the dual-SIM feature in China.

HTC aims to expand its presence in the mid-tier phone market by making customized versions of its latest HTC One mini smartphone for different countries.

Jack Tong, HTC's president for North Asia, said at a press event for the new phone's arrival on market on Friday, the customized service was an "unspoken agreement" between HTC and telecom operators and it is hoped the direction will continue with the One mini, Focus Taiwan News Channel reported.

The HTC One mini is a smaller version of the company's flagship smartphone, HTC One. The smaller model has a 4.3-inch high-resolution 720p display with a density of 341 pixels per inch, a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor, 16GB of built-in memory and a smaller battery capacity of 1,800 mAh.

The carrier-specific customization began when the Taiwanese phone maker worked with KDDI Corporation for Japan's launch of the HTC J phone in May 2012, Japan's second largest mobile operator to make the phone a bestseller, Tong noted.

It was the success of the partnership which gave the company the confidence to go ahead with more market-specific phone models, such as the U.S.-only HTC Droid and the dual-SIM version of the HTC One for China, he explained.

The silver colored HTC One mini will arrive in warehouses across Taiwan on August 16, 2013, priced at NT$15,900 (US$533), while a black version is scheduled to debut by mid-September, Tong said. HTC also aimed to launch the phone in China but does not have a finalized timeline, he added.

In late July, HTC forecasted a possible operating loss for the current quarter with sales falling 30 percent and margins eroded by the high cost of making its flagship smartphone HTC One. The company's net income fell 83 percent to US$41 million, while its revenue fell US$2.3 billion in its Q2 results released earlier that month.

In its Q1 earnings released in May, the firm posted its lowest profit in nearly a decade with US$2.85 million profit, down 98 percent year on year, hit by the delayed launch of its flagship device HTC One due to a shortage of camera components.