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HTC might return to India, but not in the way you'd expect

The bidding war is reportedly between three Indian smartphone makers.
March 4, 2019

Even though HTC ceased smartphone operations in India, that doesn’t mean the company still won’t have a presence in the country. Citing three senior industry executives, The Economic Times reported that HTC might license its brand out to smartphone makers in India.

According to the report, HTC wants to license its brand out for smartphones, tablets, and mobile accessories. To make that happen, HTC is reportedly in advanced talks with Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn. One of the senior industry executives alleged that Lava and Karbonn will team up to offer a joint bid for HTC’s brand license.

By licensing its brand, HTC would get a royalty from whichever Indian smartphone maker wins the bid. We don’t know if HTC would get a large royalty sum at the outset or a royalty every time a device and accessory are sold in India.

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Regardless of how HTC would get its royalty, licensing its brand is not a surefire way to regain relevance in India. Currently, the Indian smartphone market is dominated by the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo, and Vivo.

According to Counterpoint, the four aforementioned companies accounted for 64 percent of the Indian smartphone market. That’s compared to just five percent market share for Micromax, with Lava and Karbonn thrown in the “Others” category that accounted for 31 percent.

When reached for a statement, HTC told The Economic Times that it’s looking for strategic options for India and “will have more to announce at a later date.” Android Authority reached out to HTC for a comment on the report and will update this article if we get a response.