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HTC says it will focus on cheaper smartphones in 2014, an area that it neglected last year with poor results.

CFO Chialin Chang and chairwoman Cher Wang continue their media outreach ahead of today’s release of earnings guidance for the current quarter. The two execs told Bloomberg last week that HTC will focus on marketing to turn the ship around, and now they reiterate that point in a discussion with Reuters.

Wang acknowledges mistakes from last year, admitting that the company spent too much energy on the flagship One, neglecting the fast growing budget market:

[quote qtext=”The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

HTC will launch more smartphones in the $150-$300 price range in 2014, both in emerging and developed markets. But HTC doesn’t want to venture out among the bottom-feeders in the low cost segment. Besides the new mid-rangers, the company plans to focus on a “very aggressive” marketing its upcoming flagship, the M8.

Invitations for the M8 launch event will go out in about two weeks, said the two execs. This is the first official corroboration of rumors that the successor to the M8 will launch sometime in March. According to @evleaks, the most likely time and location is late March in New York.

As for speculation that HTC would revert to its old contract manufacturing ways, Chairwoman Wang is pretty clear: “we’re not even considering that”.

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