HTC Joins Apple With Fingerprint Sensor in One Max Handset

HTC Corp. (2498), the Taiwanese handset maker which posted its first loss on record last quarter, unveiled a new handset with fingerprint sensor, joining Apple Inc. (AAPL) in featuring the security technology.

One Max has a 5.9-inch (15 centimeter) full high-definition screen and can run on fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution networks, it said in a statement yesterday. The device, using Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)’s Snapdragon 600 processor will debut in China, U.K. and Taiwan before starting U.S. sales, Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho said in an interview today.

HTC’s largest phone, featuring Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android 4.3 operating system, is part of efforts to revive sales as it struggles to regain share from Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and Sony Corp. (6758) Apple last month unveiled its iPhone 5s with a fingerprint sensor to boost security and aid shopping while HTC said its handset can automatically start an application according to which finger is scanned.

“Large-screen phones have been picked up in Asia more than in Western countries, and the trend for larger is definitely there,” Ho said by phone. One Max is HTC’s last major product release this year ahead of the next One device expected in the first quarter, he said.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

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HTC shares gained 1.2 percent to NT$127.5 as of 10:19 a.m. in Taipei and have declined 58 percent this year.

Third-quarter sales dropped 33 percent to NT$47 billion ($1.6 billion), missing analysts’ estimates for NT$54 billion. The net loss of NT$2.97 billion was more than the NT$1.71 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The phone will be officially unveiled at a press conference today in Beijing and becomes the latest model to be first shown in China. Various models of its Desire series as well as China-specific phones have been released first in that market, Ho said.

One Max will be released by the end of this month featuring HTC’s UltraPixel camera technology, first unveiled with the HTC One in February. Its fingerprint sensor is on the device’s back while Apple’s is on the front.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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