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If you want a 2017 HTC phone, it won’t come cheap

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HTC has announced it is exiting the budget smartphone market as it seeks to shore-up profit margins by focusing on higher-end handsets.

During its earnings call earlier this week, the company revealed plans to drop entry-level phones from its 2017 line-up.

According to a report from Phonescoop, HTC will continue to sell and support the budget devices already on the market.

The ‘six or seven’ new phones it will release will be mid-range handsets, like the recently-announced HTC U Play, or high-end phones, like the HTC U Ultra.

Related: HTC U Play review

Both handsets went up for pre-order yesterday, ahead of their respective releases at the beginning of next month.

The company is still to reveal the flagship HTC 11, which may launch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and arrive in time to take on the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8.

During the earnings call, there was a little light at the end of the tunnel for HTC with a reduction of losses, compared to the previous quarter. The HTC Vive ecosystem also appears to have replaced smartphones as the firm’s top priority long term.

During the call, CEO Cher Wang said: "I am pleased with the overall performance over the past year, with innovation triumphing in all of our focus product areas ... while we continue to enhance efficiencies across all key processes.

“We have learned much from our entrance into the world of virtual reality, and we believe our focused approach to building the ecosystem is the right strategy to enable the whole industry to expand through the creation of compelling content and rich experiences, and that our HTC Vive is at the forefront of that market."

VR or smartphones? What should be HTC's priority in 2017? Share your thoughts below

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