HTC plans to offer customization options for Chinese users

by: J. Angelo RacomaFebruary 4, 2013


Build-your-own device schemes are popular in the computer market, with major manufacturers offering spec customization at point of purchase. This kind of setup might just be around the corner for smartphone buyers, that is if you’re in China. HTC is reportedly planning to offer custom-built smartphones for the Chinese market.

NetEase reports (Chinese, with English translation) that Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is experiencing poor performance in the mainland China market and plans to address this by offering customization options to consumers. Ren Weiguang, president at HTC in China, says the program is not yet in place, but plans are underway to offer these customization features in HTC’s own e-commerce store. This means phone buyers can choose their own hardware configurations, applications, services, and accessories at point of purchase.

At this point, VP for product marketing and general manager Lin Zurong says the company is still undertaking a feasibility study to determine whether giving a wide variety of choices for customers would make sense in the market. The aim here is to provide a “different purchase experience” for customers. e-Commerce in China is growing, although the downside is that sellers often face cutthroat competition. As such, customization options can be a differentiator for HTC.

The company notes, though, that this comes with many business process difficulties, especially given the number of options that the manufacturer will need to give users. A custom phone would certainly cost higher than a “standard production” phone, and viability would depend on whether this business model can scale. It would also depend on whether a buyer would be willing to pay a premium for a custom device, or whether HTC would be willing to shoulder the additional cost of customizing devices for the buyer at point of purchase.

For now, HTC admits that customizing smartphones may still be a novelty market. But if this can set them apart as an innovator in the smartphone industry, HTC can capitalize on the first-mover advantage, and offering custom retail products might just be the boost that HTC needs to reinvigorate its image as a smartphone brand.

  • Vehoiz Thiijoru

    HTC with no sense and nonesense

  • On a Clear Day

    Actually, I think this is a great idea and HTC is to be commended for considering it.

    For instance, I would love if Samsung – my next phone will the the Galaxy S4 – would offer me the option of a dual sim model plus HD voice, which fortunately T-Mobile’s entire network I understand now supports.

    Both of these to me would be game changers. I could have a personal line and a business line on the same phone and automatically separate the two; plus call quality, which let’s face it ain’t been that hot on cell phones, would find at least approximate that of a land line.

    At present, given HTC missteps of the past – no removable battery for the HTC One X etc – I would still be hesitant to consider buying an HTC product, but apparently someone is really thinking there – nothing stimulates thought like adversity! – and I think that person should be given a pat on the back.

    This is a GREAT idea and perhaps the key is to simply limit the options to a manageable few – like ones I want! LOL

    • Biggest problem I see is the update process.
      Dual-Sim would be amazing if American business (hell if people) pushed it, then we could have a work and personal phone all in one!

      • On a Clear Day

        But then they couldn’t sell us two separate phones!

      • On a Clear Day

        How would there be a problem with the update process John? Updating, usually because of carrier constraints imposed for the benefit of the carrier’s bottom line would be no worse than is usual.

        Frankly, I think all this talk about “fragmentation” is a marketing ploy thought up by Apple almost to have something to say negative about Android. Let’s face it – most “updates” since Ice Cream Sandwich have been incremental baby steps – not leaps forward for mankind!

        • Ok if you can have options for:
          single/dual/quad/octa core
          4 inch 4.3 inch 4.5 inch 4.7 inch 5 inch display
          720p 1080p or 4k resolution (dreaming lol)
          1G 2G 4G Ram
          32G 64G memory

          HTC update the international varient of HTC One X (quad core gsm) and had that completed before they even start pushing the HTC One X (dual core LTE) thats were I see all the options would cause a slow down in the updates. Plus we have carriers who would want to test each update for every variation.

          Yes, the updates are becoming quicker for android since 4.0 but carriers love to slow the updates. I’m still waiting on AT&T to release the update for HTC One X, because HTC has release the code for it because Rogers released the update for the HTC One X (same varient) in January.