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Struggling HTC says cheap phones are a 'fool's game'

As HTC takes the wraps off the fingerprint-scanning 5.9-inch HTC One Max, the ailing company has sworn off budget phones.

As HTC takes the wraps off the fingerprint-scanning 5.9-inch HTC One Max, the ailing company vows to continue to take the fight to high-end rivals like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4.

"HTC will not suddenly shift strategy to become a budget smartphone maker," tweeted HTC's Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon, responding to suggestions that HTC should abandon high-end phones. "Competing against Huawei, ZTE, and eventually Amazon, for low end, razor-thin margins is a fool's game."

HTC will continue to produce budget and mid-range Android phones such as the Desire series. But the company has lost money lately as it struggles to stand up to Apple and Samsung, losing its place as the leading Android manufacturer in the face of Samsung's onslaught of Galaxy phones. Internal troubles and even a brush with the law haven't helped -- but you've got to hand it to them, the folks at High Tech Computers still know how to build a phone.

The One Max is HTC's first phablet, coming soon to Vodafone and costing £600. It features a fingerprint reader on the back. Like Apple when introducing the fingertip-scanning iPhone 5S, HTC has addressed finger-related security concerns, telling PhoneArena that your loops and whorls are stored on the phone and can't be accessed by HTC or anyone else.

The scanner doesn't record an actual picture of your fingerprint that could be lifted and used elsewhere, but instead captures certain characteristics of your print and runs it through a proprietary algorithm to check if it's a match.

Of course, that won't help if someone mocks up a fake fingerprint like the movie-style print hackers have used to crack the new iPhone. 

Is the One Max a winner for HTC? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or leave your sticky fingerprints on our Facebook wall.

Update: Clarified Jeff Gordon's job title and the context of his tweet.