Smartphone maker HTC launched two new smartphone models on Wednesday—Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S. These smartphones will use the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 software and they will be available in the market by November. Set to be available through multiple wireless service providers globally, this launch pitches HTC against key Microsoft partner Nokia. Like Nokia’s recent Lumia launch, HTC has also launched colorful Windows phone models.
Since the popularity of Samsung and Apple phones has picked up, HTC has been under fire to generate stronger sales. While HTC has been using Android-based phones in the past, it will now be able to benefit from marketing the phones are Windows based. HTC global head of sales Jason Mackenzie has said that they will be marketing the smartphones as ‘signature’ Windows Phone 8 smartphones. He said this at the company’s New York launch event, where Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer was also present.
“Consumers are going to love these phones, and we’re committed to reaching them in a manner that’s clear and direct,” Ballmer said. HTC shares rose 2 percent in early trading in Taipei. HTC says its two new phones would go on sale at 150 operators in 50 countries around the world.
However, as the market share for Microsoft’s OS is tiny, it will be interesting to see is HTC will be able to generate stronger sales in the fourth quarter. Independent analysts say that HTC’s performance will be average this year because the phones lag behind Samsung. This will also be an important race for Microsoft, with Apple and Google picking up the smartphone software market.
Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said HTC and Nokia were smart to distinguish the appearance of their devices from iPhone with bright colors as it could make them stand out to customers who want an iPhone alternative.