At the Windows Phone launch in India yesterday, HTC unveiled their first Windows Phone 7.5 for the Indian market. Available for INR 23,990 starting next week, HTC Radar is the first Windows Phone device in the market after the official launch.
At the media launch event at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, I caught up with Faizal Siddiqui, Country Manager, HTC India who very graciously sat down to talk at length till I actually ran out of questions.
Abhishek Baxi: Your thoughts on HTC Radar?
Faizal Siddiqui: We are excited to unveil HTC Radar, with the latest Windows Phone operating system in India. The HTC Radar’s aluminum uni-body, compact size, and finish will capture people’s attention.
AB: Now that HTC Radar is in the market, do you also plan to release Titan in India?
FS: For Titan, we haven’t yet decided the timeline. But, we are planning to bring it to market before the end of this year.
AB: Any pricing information for Titan? Do you have any more devices releasing?
FS: We haven’t priced the Titan as yet. Anyway, these two are at the moment what we are planning to launch in the Indian market. The balance portfolio, I’m unable to share at the moment.
AB: I use a Samsung Omnia 7 which has a 4-inch display. For me that’s the preferred display size for a smartphone. Do you think a 4.7-inch Titan would find many takers?
AB: I think a large screen like that positions devices like Titan or the 5-inch Dell Streak as anti-devices for 7-inch tablets. If I have to buy a tablet, I’ll buy a 10-inch one. Anything a 7-inch tablet does for me, a large screen smartphone does too.
FS: We haven’t seen any evidence of smartphones or 7-inch tablets used as supplements or replacements of each other. We have seen acceptability of this form factor from customers. So, hard to say if a 4-inch, 5-inch, or 6-inch device, phone or otherwise, would merge with 7-inch tablet. But experience wise, I haven’t seen any evidence. These are not replacements.
AB: HTC has flooded the Indian market with Android phones at every price point. How do you think, HTC would find a balance between Android offerings and the two handsets featuring Windows Phone platform.
FS: Abhishek, you know, just to take a step back, our association with Microsoft is a long-term association. We have had a decade old partnership. HTC is one of the few OEM partners that produces or has released most smartphones on Windows Phone platform. So, we are taking that partnership to the next level by launching HTC phones on this new platform in India. HTC Radar is the first commercially available Windows Phone in India
FS: You know, the market is growing very fast. There is a 60 to 80% growth every year; in the smartphone market I mean. So we want to bring different choices to our customers, and therefore, we work very closely with our key partners and let the customers decide what’s best for them.