HTC Looking for a Hero to Beat the iPhone 4S Supervillain
Image Credit: Reuters

HTC is set to re-focus its efforts on the iPhone and Galaxy dominated high-end smartphone market, releasing a new set of "hero" handsets.

According to Mobile Magazine, HTC UK chief Phil Roberson confirmed to it that the company would be changing its strategy, reducing its smartphone portfolio, to focus on the top-end market.

Specifically, Mobile Magazine reported Roberson as revealing that from Q2 HTC would cut development of low end handsets only releasing high-spec smartphones on a par with Apple's eternally popular iPhone 4S.

"So 2012 is about giving our customers something special. We need to make sure we do not go so far down the line that we segment our products by launching lots of different SKUs" Mobile Magazine quoted Roberson as saying.

Designed to reverse HTC's increasing market marginalisation at the hands of Apple and Samsung, analysts have since questioned whether it will work. Speaking to the International Business Times UK, Ovum's principal analyst of devices and platforms, Tony Cripps, clarified that the move is a risky one.

Specifically, Cripps highlighted that while an increased focus on a small number of high-end devices could increase the device's profitability, it would require high levels of investment on HTC's part - highlighting that Samsung and Apple have already secured a significant share of the high-end market through their continuing investment in advertising and branding campaigns.

"Focusing on the high end of the smartphone market is highly attractive from a margin and profitability point of view. However, it's also risky, especially for smaller handset providers that can't easily compete with Apple and Samsung in terms of sales and marketing investment and push for what is a relatively small and well-served market opportunity," said Cripps. Later adding: "Some diversification and segmentation will remain necessary simply to stay financially viable."