HTC to give keynote at Computex for the first time

HTC, however, will not show any products at Computex

High Tech Computer (HTC) will participate in its first ever keynote address at the Computex Taipei trade show in June, marking a rare appearance by the smartphone maker in what has traditionally been an event geared toward PC vendors.

HTC will be speaking simply to show support for Computex and the organizers behind it, said company spokeswoman Jessica Pan on Friday. The company, however, does not plan to exhibit any products at the annual trade show.

The Taiwanese smartphone maker was invited to speak at the CEO summit forum during the Computex show, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, which helps organizes the event.

Computex has traditionally been a show displaying the latest and upcoming devices and components for PCs from companies including Acer, Asus and Intel. But in the last two years, the hottest products at the show have been tablets, which mobile phone vendors are also selling, said CK Lu, an analyst with research firm Gartner. Last year, the company launched its HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream tablets.

"It's not really a surprise to me they will give a speech," Lu said. "They surely can provide a different perspective on what to do in this market."

At the same time, the technology in different consumer electronics devices and gadgets is beginning to converge, Lu said. Gartner predicts that by 2015, televisions, tablets, notebooks and smartphones will all be using the same components and software ecosystems, and only differ in screen sizes, he said.

Dickie Chang, an analyst with research firm IDC, expected HTC would use the speaking opportunity to promote its products, given that the company faced a disappointing financial fourth quarter and has just announced a new line of smartphones. He also noted that many PC and component vendors at Computex are expanding into mobile devices including smartphones.

"HTC is a Taiwanese company and so I think it makes sense for them to speak at Computex," Chang said. "I think this will be a good opportunity for them."

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service

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