HTC begins U Ultra shipments to U.S.

Taipei--Taiwan-based HTC Corp. (???) started shipments Friday of its latest flagship smartphone the HTC U Ultra to customers in the United States who pre-ordered the new model.

On its U.S. website, HTC said the U Ultra is available in three colors -- ice white, sapphire blue and brilliant black -- but not cosmetic pink -- in the U.S. market at a price of US$749. In the U.S. market, the U Ultra is currently in stock and unlocked but compatible only with T-Mobile and AT&T Networks, HTC said.

A special sapphire blue version with upgraded specifications is expected to be launched in the U.S. in mid-March, according to the company. The 5.7-inch U Ultra, which has an artificial intelligence function and a slick mirror finish, was unveiled in Taiwan in mid-January.

In addition to the U.S. and Taiwan, the other markets in which the new smartphone is available are Hong Kong, the Middle East, Europe and China. The U Ultra is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and comes in 64GB and 128GB versions.

It has a 12-megapixel UltraPixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3000mAH battery. It disposes of the headphone jack but has a USB Type C design for the AI function.

At an investor conference in mid-February, HTC said the U Ultra was expected to boost its sales amid escalating competition in both the high-end and mid-to-low range model segments of the global market.

In February, HTC recorded consolidated sales of NT$4.67 billion (US$150.64 million), up 0.09 percent from a month earlier.

Its monthly sales for January and February were both under US$5 billion, which has left market analysts cautious about HTC's March sales and the effects of the U Ultra on the company's shipments.

In the fourth quarter of last year, HTC posted a loss per share of NT$3.77 and reported a net loss for the seventh consecutive quarter.

For the whole of 2016, it posted a loss per share of NT$12.81, the second steepest after its loss per share of NT$18.78 in 2015.

As of 10:20 a.m. Friday, shares of HTC had fallen 1.05 percent to NT$75.40 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, while the weighted index was down 0.87 percent amid concerns over the possibility of an imminent rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel